• Cognition, Attention, Law & Memory Lab

  • What We Do

    Our Research

    Applied Attention & Memory

    We conduct research in the laboratory and the field with adults, children, and law enforcement. Our research concerns attention and memory including how they works and how they often times do not work. We are especially interested in the role of psychology in the legal system.

    Our Research

    Attention & Memory in the Legal System

    We study conditions under which attention and memory is likely to be inaccurate and ways of making it more accurate. Some of this research concerns children’s memory. In addition, we do research on the role of attention and memory in searching for missing and wanted persons. We primarily do this in the context of a prospective memory framework called prospective person memory.

    The CALM lab

    We're a team!

    Our lab mission is to better understand the role of attention and memory in various applied contexts (so far, we’ve been focused exclusively on the legal system)! We aim to ask questions and provide answers that can directly improve people’s lives. Disseminating this work is an essential component of the laboratory.

    The CALM lab

    We're a team!

    The lab is a community where everyone who is interested in contributing to our mission is welcome. We are committed to viewing each member as a whole person whose life exists inside and outside of the lab. We are especially interested in recruiting new members and collaborators who are interested in contributing to our mission while being a great community team-player. We are committed to being a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community. Excellence can only be achieved via a diverse & supported team.

  • Projects

    Here is some of our current work!

    Meta-Cognition & Eyewitnesses

    What impact do witnesses beliefs about memory have on memory and confidence?

    In collaboration with Jim Lampinen, we've received a 670k grant from the National Science Foundation to study the relationship between eyewitness confidence and accuracy across a range of variables using virtual reality. We will be testing the pristine conditions hypothesis under a variety of witnessing conditions.

    Information Modality

    What effect does the way information is received have on eyewitness memory?

    People can intercept information in many different ways (e.g., conversations, news, social media, etc.). We are studying the effects of information modality on eyewitness memory using the misinformation paradigm. In addition, we are sudying the interaction between information modality and whether a person transmits the information.

    Vigilance & Missing Persons

    How well do citizens sight missing persons when the search has their full attention?

    Research on how citizens search for missing persons has focused on how people search when they are multi-tasking (e.g., searching while doing another unrelated task). However, many people volunteer for search parties. The CALM lab and Dr. Jack Arnal plan to investigate the role of vigilance in searching for missing people. In addition, we are studying how police search for missing people.

    Attention & Eyewitness Identification

    What impact does attention orientation have on eyewitness identification?

    With collaboraters around the world, we are examining the impact of pre-event instructions about how eyewitnesses should orient their attention on eyewitness identification accuracy. Instructions have been found to impact whether and when eyewitnesses notice a crime in research by Ira Hyman and colleagues.

    Low Prevalence & Person Searches

    Can combining low prevalence tasks improve performance on both tasks?

    In collaboration with Dawn Weatherford, we are embedding a wanted persons search in an identification face matching task. False identifications are rare and encountering wanted persons is also rare. As a result, people perform poorly on both tasks. Combining the tasks may prompt reminding especially as wanted persons may use false identification documents.

    Eyetracking Attention in Legal Settings

    When does attention fail in persons searches or when a person is a witness to a crime?

    Dr. Kara Moore recently received funding for a computer mounted eyetracker! We plan to use this tool to take our research to the next level to understand attentional mechanisms at play in eyewitness memory and persons searches. For example, can eye movements predict whether a person will make a sighting of a missing person?