Detection of Deception and Malingering

This research line focuses on the detection of deception and malingering in a variety of settings. Topics studied include lie detection by means of psychophysiological recordings such as skin conductance and electroencephalography, but also the use of content analysis to assess the veracity of statements. In addition, research is concerned with malingering and related phenomena and how these can best be detected with tests and tasks (symptom validity testing).

Researchers: Harald Merckelbach, Marko Jelicic, Ewout Meijer, Glynis Bogaard.


Memory of Witnesses and Victims

This research line deals with current issues and controversies in the area of eyewitness memory and false memories. Specifically, researchers in this domain examine under which circumstances eyewitnesses are able to accurately identify the culprit from a lineup. Furthermore, they investigate how the overwhelmingly stressful nature of being an eyewitness or victim to a crime affects their memory for that event. In addition, research focuses on a variety of memory illusions such as why children and adults sometimes develop memories of events (e.g., sexual abuse) that never occurred and the impact that these false memories may have in legal proceedings. The effectiveness of structured forensic interview protocols in interviewing alleged victims of child abuse is studied in actual child protection practice.

Researchers: Harald Merckelbach, Corine de Ruiter, Henry Otgaar, Kim van Oorsouw, Anna Sagana, Melanie Sauerland, Brenda Erens, Sanne Houben, Nathanael Elnadus Johanes, Teresa Schneider, Sergii Yaremenko, Mengying Zhang, Yikang Zhang.


Forensic Psychological Assessment and Treatment and Interviewing

The studies in this line of research focus on the development and validation of evidence-based risk assessment tools for different forms of violence and antisocial behaviour in adults (e.g., intimate partner violence, child maltreatment) and youth (e.g., violence, self-harm). Furthermore, research into risk and protective factors is combined with intervention studies for different types of harmful behaviours towards others. Key words to describe the recent work of the Forensic Section researchers in this domain are: trauma-focused, strengths-based and positive forensic psychology.

Researchers: Corine de Ruiter, Kim van Oorsouw, Colinda Serie, Manuela Schols, Tamara De Beuf, Esra Tuncer, Vivienne de Vogel, Eveline Schippers, Annabel Simjouw, Nienke Verstegen


Decision Making

In all phases of the legal process, human decision making plays a major role and cognitive biases may lead to flawed reasoning. In many criminal and legal cases, judges are advised by experts, who may also fall prey to these biases. Forensic Psychology section researchers examine the role the role and extent of these biases and how to remediate them, in the interest of a fair trial and optimisation of legal decision making.

Researchers: Marko Jelicic, Anna Sagana, Maartje Schreuder.

  • Detection of Deception and Malingering

  • Memory of Witnesses and Victims

  • Forensic Psychological Assessment and Treatment and Interviewing

  • Decision Making