Deryn Strange

Deryn Strange
City University of New York - John Jay College of Criminal Justice | John Jay CUNY · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

65
Publications
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Citations
Introduction

Publications

Publications (65)
Article
Trauma victims often come to remember experiencing more trauma than they initially reported. Our experiments are the first to investigate a plausible mechanism for this memory amplification, namely, that people incorporate new details contained in post‐event information (PEI) into their event memory. In Experiment 1, participants viewed traumatic p...
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This article examines people’s interpretations of a recorded police–civilian altercation when they receive a priori information about a civilian’s behavioral health and information about how an officer responded. In two experiments, MTurk participants (N = 771) were randomly assigned to receive a label for the civilian (schizophrenia, substance use...
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In general, memory of highly negative and even traumatic events can distort. However, the effect of misinformation exposure on such memories requires further investigation given the inconsistent past findings. With two experiments, we investigated: (1) whether misinformation distorts memory for highly negative analogue events, (2) whether memory di...
Article
Although research has focused on how inconsistencies in alibi statements are perceived by law enforcement and legal decision-makers, less attention has been paid to the cognitive factors that may mitigate such inconsistencies. Using a novel, ecologically-valid paradigm, across two experiments (507 events for N=134), we examined the accuracy, level...
Article
Faulty forensic science sometimes makes its way into the courtroom where jurors must evaluate its credibility. But at least two factors may inflate how credible jurors find claims about forensic science: the mere context of a court case and the cognitive fluency of the evidence. To investigate, we asked people to judge various claims about forensic...
Article
During suspect interviews, police will sometimes ask about hypothetical incriminating evidence to evoke a cue to deception – a technique known as a bait question. Previous research has demonstrated such questions can distort peoples’ memory for what evidence exists in a case. Here, we investigate whether such memory distortion can also cause people...
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Now more than ever, body cameras, surveillance footage, dash-cam footage, and bystanders with phones enable people to see for themselves officer and civilian behavior and determine the justifiability of officers' actions. This paper examines whether the camera perspective by which people watch police encounters influences the conclusions that peopl...
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Students are requesting and professors issuing trigger warnings—content warnings cautioning that college course material may cause distress. Trigger warnings are meant to alleviate distress students may otherwise experience, but multiple lines of research suggest trigger warnings could either increase or decrease symptoms of distress. We examined h...
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We tested whether people are attuned to critical memory factors, such as age at the timing of encoding and hedge words when judging the credibility of testimony. In two experiments, participants read a 19‐year‐old's testimony regarding a sexual assault. We manipulated whether participants learned that the assault occurred 4 years ago (when the clai...
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Decades of memory research have demonstrated a dire need for effective methods of correcting misinformation, particularly once it has been encoded. However, much of this research has exposed participants to misinformation first, and later provides a correction, using indirect memory questions. Using a Misinformation Effect paradigm, in which partic...
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Via “contamination,” false confessions usually contain accurate and nonpublic details, and details that are inconsistent with the case facts (Garrett, 2010). In two studies (N1 = 476; N2 = 364), we replicated previous findings that inconsistent confessions yield fewer guilty verdicts than accurate confessions (Henderson & Levett, 2016; Palmer et al...
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Smith, Wells, Smalarz, and Lampinen (2017) claim that we (Colloff, Wade, & Strange, 2016) were wrong to conclude that fair lineups enhanced people’s ability to discriminate between innocent and guilty suspects compared to unfair lineups. They argue our results reflect differential-filler-siphoning, not diagnostic-feature-detection. But a manipulati...
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Following a traumatic experience, people often experience involuntary cognitions—that is, spontaneously occurring thoughts, memories, or images. Although trauma victims commonly experience involuntary memories, they also experience involuntary nonmemories, a subset of which are elaborative (i.e., cognitions about event details that did not actually...
Article
Background and objectives: Trauma victims, such as war veterans, often remember additional traumatic events over time: the "memory amplification effect". This effect is associated with the re-experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including frequent and intrusive images of the trauma. One explanation for memory amplificati...
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Now more than ever, people have access to police footage, yet people still disagree about what some footage depicts. This is not surprising given that research on attention, perception, and memory demonstrates that motivations, biases, and context shape what people see and remember. However, we do not know whether people are attuned to the fact tha...
Article
Trauma-exposed people commonly exhibit a “memory amplification” effect, endorsing exposure to more traumatic events over time. Studies reporting this phenomenon have typically relied on checklists, where participants read event descriptions and indicate (yes/no) their exposure. We examined whether that approach is vulnerable to response biases and...
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Body-worn camera (BWC) footage is expected to be objective thereby improving transparency. But can other information about an incident affect how people perceive BWC footage? In two experiments, we examined the effects of officer-generated misinformation and outcome information on people’s memory for an event. Participants viewed BWC footage and/or...
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Bait questions—where an investigator questions a suspect about the existence of hypothetical evidence—are a widely employed interviewing tactic. We examined whether these bait questions are a vehicle for misinformation to enter a criminal case, leading mock jurors to misremember the evidence. Adapting the misinformation effect paradigm, participant...
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Alibis play a critical role in the criminal justice system. Yet research on the process of alibi generation and evaluation is still nascent. Indeed, similar to other widely investigated psychological phenomena in the legal system – such as false confessions, historical claims of abuse, and eyewitness memory – the basic assumptions underlying alibi...
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In earlier work, we asked subjects to report involuntary thoughts relating to a trauma film and also probed subjects periodically. Subjects often reported involuntary thoughts in response to probes, suggesting they lacked meta-awareness of those thoughts. But it is possible that some or all probe-detected thoughts were continuations of thoughts sub...
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Understanding that suggestive practices can promote false beliefs and false memories for childhood events is important in many settings (e.g., psychotherapeutic, medical, legal). The generalizability of findings from memory implantation studies has been questioned due to variability in estimates across studies. Such variability is partly due to fal...
Article
Background and objectives: People exposed to trauma often experience intrusive thoughts and memories about that event. Research examining people's responses to trauma assumes that people can accurately notice the occurrence of symptoms. However, we know from the broader cognitive literature on 'mind-wandering' that people are not always aware of t...
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Can metacognition increase trauma sufferers’ risk for developing and maintaining posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? We assessed the role of a range of cognitive and metacognitive belief domains—including metamemory—on PTSD symptoms. Adult participants reported their existing meta/cognitions and lifetime exposure to trauma, then 12 weeks later, t...
Article
Eyewitness identification studies have focused on the idea that unfair lineups, in which the suspect stands out, make witnesses more willing to identify that suspect. We asked whether unfair lineups—featuring suspects with distinctive features—also influence subjects’ ability to distinguish between innocent and guilty suspects, and their ability to...
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Eyewitness identification studies have focused on the idea that unfair lineups, in which the suspect stands out, make witnesses more willing to identify that suspect. We asked whether unfair lineups—featuring suspects with distinctive features—also influence subjects’ ability to distinguish between innocent and guilty suspects, and their ability to...
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Eyewitness-identification studies have focused on the idea that unfair lineups (i.e., ones in which the police suspect stands out) make witnesses more willing to identify the police suspect. We examined whether unfair lineups also influence subjects' ability to distinguish between innocent and guilty suspects and their ability to judge the accuracy...
Article
In the current study, we investigated whether suppression can produce an amplified memory for a traumatic experience. Participants viewed a distressing film depicting a multi-fatality car accident. We broke the film down into several short clips, some of which were removed. After viewing the film, we instructed participants to (i) suppress and moni...
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Trauma memories can feel more disorganised than more mundane memories. That may be problematic in legal contexts. Here we examined: (a) whether that disorganised feeling makes people more susceptible to suggestive questioning during direct examination; and (b) whether cross-examination is the safeguard it is purported to be: that is, we examined wh...
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We investigated whether boundary restriction—misremembering proximity to traumatic stimuli—is a form of memory amplification and whether reexperiencing trauma plays a role in boundary restriction errors. In four experiments, subjects viewed a series of traumatic photographs. Later, subjects identified the photographs they originally saw among distr...
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The media is influential in shaping people’s knowledge and beliefs about the world; however, reporters may take liberties with the facts to support a particular view or to create an entertaining story, resulting in biased or even falsified reports. We examined whether news reports with exaggerated details from newspapers and/or television are more...
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Trauma memories - like all memories - are malleable and prone to distortion. Indeed, there is growing evidence - from both field and lab-based studies - to suggest that the memory distortion follows a particular pattern. People tend to remember more trauma than they experienced, and those who do, tend to exhibit more of the "re-experiencing" sympto...
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In this paper, we examine whether source monitoring (SM) errors might be one mechanism that accounts for traumatic memory distortion. Participants watched a traumatic film with some critical (crux) and non-critical (non-crux) scenes removed. Twenty-four hours later, they completed a memory test. To increase the likelihood participants would notice...
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People often misremember the past as consistent with the present. Recent research using an induced- compliance paradigm has revealed that cognitive dissonance is one mechanism that can underlie this memory distortion. We sought to replicate and extend this finding using a free-choice paradigm: Participants made either an easy or a difficult choice...
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The developers of the autobiographical Implicit Association Test (aIAT) describe it as a possible memory detection tool. This claim rests on the assumption the aIAT can reliably and automatically detect the accuracy of autobiographical events. However, the aIAT may be susceptible to factors that affect the assessment of truth vs. falseness, such as...
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Memories serve as a “database” of the self and people often produce distorted memories that support their self-concepts. One, surprisingly untested, possibility is that cognitive dissonance may be one mechanism by which people may misremember their past. We tested this hypothesis using an induced- compliance paradigm: participants either chose or w...
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Laypeople, police, and prosecutors tend to believe that a suspect’s alibi, if truthful, should remain consistent over time (see Burke, Turtle, & Olson, 2007; Culhane & Hosch 2012; Dysart & Strange, 2012). However, there is no empirical evidence to support this assumption. We investigated (a) whether some features of an alibi—such as what was happen...
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Do external motivational processes-in the form of social influences-shape people's memories for trauma? In this experiment, we examined the effects of social influence on memory and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology for an analogue traumatic event. Seventy-two participants watched a distressing film; some received feedback about ot...
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We examined the claim that the autobiographical Implicit Association Test (aIAT) can detect concealed memories. Subjects read action statements (e.g., "break the toothpick") and either performed the action or completed math problems. They then imagined some of these actions and some new actions. Two weeks later, the subjects completed a memory test...
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Adults sometimes report highly specific details of childhood events, including the weather, what they or others were wearing, as well as information about what they or others said or were thinking at the time. When these details are reported in the course of research they shape our theories of memory development; when they are reported in a crimina...
Article
Can people come to remember an event as being more traumatic than they initially experienced? Participants watched a highly structured and emotionally disturbing film depicting a car accident in which five people, including a baby, are killed. We broke the film down into a series of short clips; some of which we removed. Later, we tested participan...
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In this experiment, we examined whether media format and the presence of relevant photographs influence the probability of false recognition for media content. We told participants that we were interested in what makes news interesting and asked them to watch 3 televised broadcasts or read 3 news articles that appeared with or without a photo depic...
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To date, the majority of published research on alibis has focused on jurors’ perceptions of alibi believability. However in criminal cases, it is often law enforcement officers and prosecutors who make decisions about alibi believability that are critical to whether an individual will be charged with a crime. In the current survey, senior law enfor...
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What is the effect on memory when seemingly innocuous photos accompany false reports of the news? We asked people to read news headlines of world events, some of which were false. Half the headlines appeared with photographs that were tangentially related to the event; others were presented without photographs. People saw each headline only once, a...
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Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.informaworld.com/terms-and-conditions-of-access.pdf This article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. T...
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When people are told that their negative memories are worse than other people's, do they later remember those events differently? We asked participants to recall a recent negative memory then, 24 h later, we gave some participants feedback about the emotional impact of their event--stating it was more or less negative compared to other people's exp...
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Prior research using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm has shown that participants are more likely to report the critical lures when long lists are presented. In this experiment, we evaluated two potential explanations for this list-length effect. Ten-year-old children and adults studied 7- or 14-word lists. After recalling each list, participa...
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be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be co...
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We examined the effect of photographs on children's memories for events that did and did not happen. Over three interviews, 10-year olds saw three true photos and one false photo. Half the children saw a doctored photo of themselves and other family members in a hot air balloon, while the remaining half saw only the hot air balloon. At each intervi...
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We examined whether false images and memories for childhood events are more likely when the event supposedly took place during the period of childhood amnesia. Over three interviews, participants recalled six events: five true and one false. Some participants were told that the false event happened when they were 2 years old (Age 2 group), while ot...
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In this experiment, we ask whether photographs can lead to false memories for elements of a newspaper story. Participants played the role of a newspaper editor, identifying minor typographical errors in three newspaper articles and marking the text where they thought an accompanying photo should be placed when the story was printed. The critical ar...
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Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, numerous scientific papers on children's eyewitness testimony hooked their audiences in with descriptions of high profile sexual abuse cases. The cases were horrific and created panic throughout communities. In the end, it became clear that many of the cases developed because overzealous investigative interviewers we...
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In this paper we ask how the plausibility of an event affects the likelihood that children will develop a false memory for it. Over three interviews 6-year-olds and 10-year-olds were shown two true photos and two false photos-a plausible and less plausible event-and reported what they could remember about those events. Children also rated their con...
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Since the invention of photography we have learned to rely on photos to help us remember significant moments in our lives. We have come to believe that photographs are accurate and valuable records of events that-years down the track-we may not be able to remember. In this paper, we review recent research demonstrating that photographs can also hel...
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The primary aim of this thesis was to investigate whether Mazzoni et al.'s (2001) model for adult false memory development also accounts for children's false memory develoment. Thus, three studies were conducted targeting different aspects of Mazzoni et al.'s model. Study 1 examined whether children could become equally confident, and develop just...
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Since the early 1980s there has been much research investigating children's susceptibility to memory distortions when interviewed with a range of techniques. Early studies using the ‘Draw and Tell’ interview have shown that drawing, when used as a recall technique, increases the amount of correct information reported during a recall interview, with...

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