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Welcome to the Forensic and Legal Psychology Laboratory!

About our lab

Our laboratory is primarily concerned with forensic and legal psychology research.

Forensic and legal psychology concerns the intersection of psychology and the criminal justice system and examines human behavior related to the legal process, including eyewitness memory, testimony, jury decision making, the insanity defense, and lie detection. Within that area, some of our research concerns criminal behaviors such as homicide and rape. For example, one thing I am interested in is using details from the crime scene, like the weapon, to predict who the perpetrator is in a homicide case. This is really fun research since a lot of people including the police have all sorts of ideas about what crime scene details mean, and they are frequently wrong or sometimes there is just no existing data. But it is fascinating that people form many beliefs about such things, and sometimes are very confident in those beliefs, despite lack of empirical evidence. Other research focuses on topics related to the fourth amendment. But we do actually do more than just forensic psychology research, which includes social cognitive research like on self-control, and evolutionary research like understanding exploitative strategies. 

We are currently located at:  IMBM 309

Current lab members
Owen J. Stanczak 

Owen is a sophomore at the University of Scranton and currently a double psychology and philosophy major, in the process of declaring a criminology minor, and a peace and justice studies concentration. He is also part of the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors program. Areas of research he is interested in right now includes jury decision making and biases in the courtroom, as well as predicting perpetrators from crime scene evidence. 

Maria Rocha

Maria is a junior at the University of Scranton and currently majoring in psychology with a concentration in lifespan development. She is a member of the Psi Chi Honors program. Areas of research she is particularly interested in right now include assessment and diagnosis of anxiety and depression in children as well as competency to stand trial and the insanity defense.

Emma Trautfetter 

Emma is sophomore Psychology major, a Counseling and Human Services minor, and in the process of declaring of Lifespan Development concentration. Emma is also part of the University's Honors program. Her interests include the development and treatment of mental illness in children and adolescents, especially mood and anxiety disorders. She is also interested in false confessions and criminal profiling. 

Kyla Weckel

Kyla is a senior at the University of Scranton majoring in psychology with a concentration in legal studies. She serves as a teaching assistant in the University’s psychology department and is a member of Pi Gamma Mu and Psi Chi. Her research interests include criminal psychopathology and risk assessment, sex crimes prosecution, witness credibility, and defenses to criminal liability. 

Interested in being a research assistant in our lab?

To be considered for a research assistant position the following criteria must be met:

  • GPA higher than 3.3

  • Must have had or are currently taking at least one research methods course and one statistics course (they might be combined like psych 211 and 212) OR have read a basic introductory statistics/method book

  • Taken a forensic psychology OR legal psychology course OR read at least one textbook in the area (e.g., Costanzo & Krauss, 2018).

Feel free to contact Dr. Reynolds to apply for a research position.

Upon admission to the lab, all lab members are trained on using the statistical software R, and will be encouraged to read the following book on statistical analysis.

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