Heather Flowe

Heather Flowe
University of Birmingham · School of Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

99
Publications
25,989
Reads
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1,117
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - present
University of Birmingham
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
September 1999 - September 2005
University of California, San Diego
Field of study
  • Experimental Psychology

Publications

Publications (99)
Article
Full-text available
Research about intoxicated witnesses and criminal suspects is surprisingly limited, considering the police believe that they are quite ubiquitous. In the present study, we assessed the involvement of intoxicated witnesses and suspects in the investigation of rape, robbery, and assault crimes by analyzing cases that were referred by the police to a...
Article
Full-text available
We addressed the question of whether felony case dispositions are associated with eyewitness identification evidence. Toward this end, 725 felony cases (rape, robbery, and assault) were randomly sampled from the archives of a District Attorney's Office in a large south-western city in the United States. A positive identification was present more of...
Article
Full-text available
A police lineup presents a real-world signal-detection problem because there are two possible states of the world (the suspect is either innocent or guilty), some degree of information about the true state of the world is available (the eyewitness has some degree of memory for the perpetrator), and a decision is made (identifying the suspect or not...
Article
Full-text available
Mock witnesses sometimes report using criminal stereotypes to identify a face from a lineup, a tendency known as criminal face bias. Faces are perceived as criminal-looking if they appear angry. We tested whether matching the emotional appearance of the fillers to an angry suspect can reduce criminal face bias. In Study 1, mock witnesses (n = 226)...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the influence of alcohol on remembering an interactive hypothetical sexual assault scenario in the laboratory using a balanced placebo design. Female participants completed a memory test 24 hours and 4 months later. Participants reported less information (i.e., responded "don't know" more often to questions) if they were under the influ...
Article
Full-text available
Gender-based violence (GBV) significantly and substantially threatens women's health. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing risks and patterns of GBV. The impact of COVID-19 on GBV is not inevitable, however, and can be mediated by the policies of governments. In this study we developed the Government GBV Response Index to systematically e...
Article
Full-text available
In many countries, data collection on sexual violence incidents is not integrated into the healthcare system, which makes it difficult to establish the nature of sexual offences in this country. This contributes to widespread societal denial about the realities of sexual violence cases and the collective oppression of survivors and their families....
Article
Full-text available
The current paper seeks to solve theoretical and well-being ambiguities presented by the concept of valuing happiness by proposing that extant assessment represents a two-factor model situated within goal type theory. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of the valuing happiness scale among UK and US student and adult samples confirmed stru...
Article
Background and objectives Maladaptive metacognitive beliefs are associated with the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms following trauma, however it remains unclear whether training people to adopt healthy metacognitive beliefs helps to protect against the development of PTSD symptoms. We developed and tested a new cogniti...
Article
Eyewitness identifications play a key role in the justice system, but eyewitnesses can make errors, often with profound consequences. We used findings from basic science and innovative technologies to develop and test whether a novel interactive lineup procedure, wherein witnesses can rotate and dynamically view the lineup faces from different angl...
Article
Children are frequently witnesses of crime. In the witness literature and legal systems, children are often deemed to have unreliable memories. Yet, in the basic developmental literature, young children can monitor their memory. To address these contradictory conclusions, we reanalyzed the confidence-accuracy relationship in basic and applied resea...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives This study examined patterns of sexual violence against adults and children in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic to inform sexual violence prevention, protection, and response efforts. Design A prospective cross-sectional research design was used with data collected from March to August 2020. Setting Kenya. Participants 317 adults, 2...
Article
Over half of British Members of Parliament (MPs) were found to have overclaimed on their expenses in the 2009 expenses scandal. We conducted an exploratory analysis of whether the facial appearance of the MPs (N = 636) is associated with overclaiming, as research has found that facial appearance is correlated with behavioural outcomes. Participants...
Chapter
In this chapter, we discuss the implications of the research presented in earlier chapters for interviews with complainants who were alcohol intoxicated during the crime. We set out evidence-based guidance about alcohol and memory in rape and other serious sexual offences to assist policy and decision makers. On the basis of mounting scientific evi...
Chapter
This chapter examines the existing interviewing-guidelines from around the world pertaining to interviewing victims in sexual violence investigations. We note that there is a dearth of guidance that deals explicitly with the issue of interviewing complainants who were alcohol intoxicated at the time of the assault, let alone evidence-based guidance...
Chapter
Victims of rape were often alcohol intoxicated during the attack. Complainant alcohol intoxication negatively impacts case processing at every stage of the legal system. There is no guidance around the world to inform investigators as to how to interview victims and witnesses who were acutely intoxicated when they witnessed the crime. This book rev...
Chapter
This chapter reviews the literature in psychology on acute alcohol intoxication and memory. Special emphasis is placed on empirical studies that have systematically examined alcohol’s effects on memory performance in forensic contexts. Three aspects of memory performance are considered, including memory accuracy (i.e. the ability of the complainant...
Article
Research into juror perceptions regarding the impact of intoxication on eyewitness memory and credibility is scarce for substances other than alcohol. However, jurors are frequently told to draw on their personal beliefs and experience with intoxicating substances to infer their impact on the case. It is therefore important to investigate laypeople...
Article
Full-text available
We examined how encoding view influences the information that is stored in and retrieved from memory during an eyewitness identification task. Participants watched a mock crime and we varied the angle from which they viewed the perpetrator. In Experiment 1, participants (N = 2904) were tested with a static photo lineup; the viewing angle of the lin...
Article
Full-text available
Unfamiliar simultaneous face matching is error prone. Reducing incorrect identification decisions will positively benefit forensic and security contexts. The absence of viewindependent information in static images likely contributes to the difficulty of unfamiliar face matching. We tested whether a novel interactive viewing procedure that provides...
Chapter
Gender inequality and sexual violence (SV) are rampant in Kenya. However, survivors infrequently report sexual violence to the police, and among those who do, their cases are unlikely to be thoroughly investigated, correctly documented and successfully prosecuted. This chapter discusses factors that have limited our progress in understanding more a...
Preprint
Research documents a decline in risk-taking during peak fertility, which has been taken to suggest that fertile women may have inherent rape-avoidance adaptive mechanisms, particularly during the ovulatory phase. However, it cannot be known from previous research whether the decline in risk taking is specific to situations of increased risk of rape...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses the latest research that reveals that children seem to be facing new risks of sexual violence in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patterns of sex offending against children coinciding with the implementation of lockdowns, curfews, and school closures may be shifting since the pandemic began. In particular, emerging evidenc...
Preprint
This article discusses the latest research that reveals that children seem to be facing new risks of sexual violence in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patterns of sex offending against children coinciding with the implementation of lockdowns, curfews, and school closures may be shifting since the pandemic began. In particular, emerging evidenc...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses the latest research that reveals that children seem to be facing new risks of sexual violence in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic. The evidence suggests there have been changes in patterns of sexual offenses against children coincident with lockdowns, curfews, and school closures. In particular, emerging evidence from Kenya...
Book
This book examines how alcohol intoxication impacts upon the memory of rape victims and provides recommendations for how best to investigate and prosecute such rape complaints. An estimated 75% of victims are under the influence of alcohol during a sexual assault and yet there is surprisingly little guidance on conducting interviews with complainan...
Preprint
We compare patterns of sexual violence against adults (n = 317) and children (n = 224) in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to inform sexual violence prevention and protection efforts. The data we analyse were coded from interviews conducted by human rights defenders who were assisting survivors in obtaining vital services. We found that...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research into juror perceptions regarding the impact of intoxication on eyewitness memory and credibility is scarce for substances other than alcohol. However, jurors are frequently told to draw on their personal beliefs and experience with intoxicating substances to infer their impact on the case. It is therefore important to investigate laypeople...
Article
Full-text available
The public is increasingly exposed to news about eyewitness memory errors. This study draws from the strategic memory regulation framework [Goldsmith, M., Koriat, A., & Weinberg-Eliezer, A. (2002). Strategic regulation of grain size memory reporting. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 131(1), 73–95. https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.131.1...
Preprint
Fertile women may have inherent rape-avoidance mechanisms according to past research, with women differentially responding to a scenario implying rape compared to a control scenario when fertile (Petralia & Gallup, 2002). However, it is unclear whether these results mean that fertile women are responding to rape cues specifically, or physical dange...
Preprint
Unfamiliar simultaneous face matching is error prone. Reducing incorrect identification decisions will positively benefit forensic and security contexts. The absence of view-independent information in static images likely contributes to the difficulty of unfamiliar face matching. We tested whether a novel interactive viewing procedure that provides...
Preprint
Children, particularly girls, have heightened vulnerability to sexual violence committed by non-stranger perpetrators (e.g., neighbours) at private residences during the daytime, owing to school closures and a lack of alternative safe venues.Women have heightened vulnerability to sexual and physical violence at all times of day, with attacks by str...
Preprint
This research report explores the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on patterns of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Kenya. The research entailed conducting interviews across the 47 counties of Kenya, including in informal settlements, to document sexual violence and other violations of adults and children during the COVID-19 pandemic. The...
Preprint
This research report explores the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on patterns of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Kenya. The research entailed conducting interviews across the 47 counties of Kenya, including in informal settlements, to document sexual violence and other violations of adults and children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ther...
Preprint
Eyewitness identifications play a key role in the justice system, but eyewitnesses make errors, often with profound consequences. Errors are more likely when the witness is of a different race to the suspect, due to a phenomenon called the Own Race Bias (ORB). ORB is characterized as an encoding-based deficit, but has been predominantly tested usin...
Preprint
Recently, the field of eyewitness identification has undergone a radical transformation, using signal-detection theory, models, and associated analyses to answer the important applied question of how police should test a witness’s memory of a criminal perpetrator. Here, we used these analytical techniques and the basic science of face memory to exa...
Article
Full-text available
Implied precedence (i.e., the persons involved having had a prior sexual relationship) increases sexual coaxing and coercion (SCC). We examined whether General personality, the Dark Tetrad (Psychopathy, Narcissism, Machiavellianism, Sadism) and mating effort, influenced this association. HEXACO personality, Mating Effort (ME), Short Dark Triad (SD3...
Preprint
Full-text available
Over the last ten years, Oosterhof and Todorov’s valence-dominance model has emerged as the most prominent account of how people evaluate faces on social dimensions. In this model, two dimensions (valence and dominance) underpin social judgments of faces. Because this model has primarily been developed and tested in Western regions, it is unclear w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Children are frequently victims and witnesses of crime. In the witness identification literature, children are deemed to have unreliable memories. Yet, in developmental research, even young children display appropriate metacognitive cues that reflect their accuracy. To address these contradictory findings, we asked children in young- (4–6 years), m...
Article
Full-text available
The criminal justice system should consider the confidence an eyewitness expresses when making an identification at the time the initial lineup procedure is conducted. High confidence expressed at this time typically indicates high accuracy in the identification. Because the suspect identification – not filler identifications or no identifications...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is notoriously difficult to investigate and prosecute. SGBV occurs in varied contexts and requires flexibility in the investigative approach in order to develop a strong evidence base to enable successful prosecutions. In this paper we focus on the need for innovation and development of training protocols for...
Article
Full-text available
The present study sought to determine whether witness memory for duration could be improved. In three studies, we examined the effects of unpacking (breaking an event into its component parts), anchoring (supplying participants with a reference duration), and summation (summing component estimates). Participants watched a video-recorded mock crime...
Preprint
Full-text available
How can lineups be designed to elicit the best achievable memory performance? One step toward that goal is to compare lineup procedures. In a recent comparison of US and UK lineup procedures, discriminability and reliability was better when memory was tested using the US procedure. However, because there are so many differences between the procedur...
Article
Full-text available
How can lineups be designed to elicit the best achievable memory performance? One step toward that goal is to compare lineup procedures. In a recent comparison of US and UK lineup procedures, discriminability and reliability was better when memory was tested using the US procedure. However, because there are so many differences between the procedur...
Article
Full-text available
We experimentally examined the effects of alcohol consumption and exposure to misleading post event information on memory for a hypothetical interactive rape scenario. We used a 2 beverage (alcohol versus tonic water) x 2 expectancy (told alcohol versus told tonic) factorial design. Participants (N = 80) were randomly assigned to conditions. They c...
Article
Full-text available
There is widespread belief in the legal system that alcohol impairs witness testimony. Nevertheless, most laboratory studies examining the effects of alcohol on witness testimony suggest that alcohol may affect the number of correct but not incorrect details recalled. However, it is difficult to draw conclusions because sample sizes, testing paradi...
Article
Full-text available
In the US, experts are often called upon to provide evidence during criminal trials regarding eyewitness identification research. A key factor is probative value: to what extent are findings from laboratory studies generalisable to the real world? In order to answer this question, this article explores the issue of eyewitness ecology, a term referr...
Article
Full-text available
We tested whether there are age-related declines in detecting cues to trustworthiness, a skill that has been demonstrated to be rapid and automatic in younger adults. Young (Mage = 21.2 years) and older (Mage = 70.15 years) adults made criminal appearance judgments to unfamiliar faces, which were presented at a duration of 100, 500 or 1,000 ms. Par...
Conference Paper
Unfamiliar face matching is error-prone. An accurate decision involves correctly assigning between-person variability to different identities and within-person variability to the same identity. To support image-based comparisons we have developed a novel interactive procedure, which involves rotating a facial image to different orientations. We inv...
Article
Full-text available
El objetivo principal de este estudio es examinar la efectividad de técnicas mnemónicas de la entrevista cognitiva como la reconstrucción del contexto, el reporte total, el cambio del orden y el cambio de perspectiva sobre determinado evento. Para éste trabajo se utilizó una muestra de 60 estudiantes universitarios de la licenciatura en Psicología...
Article
Full-text available
This study experimentally examined the role of victim alcohol intoxication and self-blame in perceiving and reporting rape to the police using a hypothetical interactive rape scenario. Participants (N = 79) were randomly assigned to consume alcohol (mean BAC = .07%) or tonic water before they engaged in the scenario. Alcohol expectancy was manipula...
Article
Full-text available
This project describes the development of the Resilient Systems Scales, created to address conceptual and methodological ambiguities in assessing the ecological systems model of resilience. Across a number of samples (total N = 986), our findings suggest that the Resilient Systems Scales show equivalence to a previously reported assessment (Maltby,...
Article
Full-text available
In developed countries, DNA profiling routinely forms part of the forensic strategy in the investigation of sexual violence. Medical examinations provide opportunities for recovering DNA evidence from intimate swabs, which can be particularly probative in cases where the identity of the perpetrator is unknown and proof of intercourse between two pe...
Article
Full-text available
Acute alcohol intoxication during encoding can impair subsequent identification accuracy, but results across studies have been inconsistent, with studies often finding no effect. Little is also known about how alcohol intoxication affects the identification confidence–accuracy relationship. We randomly assigned women (N = 153) to consume alcohol (d...
Article
Full-text available
Research finds we make spontaneous trait inferences from facial appearance, even after brief exposures to a face (i.e., less than or equal to 100 ms). We examined spontaneous impressions of criminality from facial appearance, testing whether these impressions persist after repeated presentation (i.e., one to three exposures) and increased exposure...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Rationale False face recognition rates are sometimes higher when faces are learned while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol myopia theory (AMT) proposes that acute alcohol intoxication during face learning causes people to attend to only the most salient features of a face, impairing the encoding of less salient facial features. Yet, there is...
Poster
Full-text available
Research demonstrates changes in behaviour which are believed to support the hypothesis that women have evolved a rape-avoidance mechanism, particularly during ovulation when conception risk and thus costs of rape to reproductive fitness are highest. However, whilst menstrual cycle-related behavioural changes have been documented, research lacks fo...
Article
Full-text available
The study explored how scores on the three dimensions of the Engineering, Ecological, and Adaptive Capacity (EEA) trait resilience scale, derived from Holling’s ecological systems theory of resilience, demonstrate fit within higher-order bifactor models of measurement, cultural invariance, and associations with clinical caseness of affect. Three sa...
Article
Previous research shows that feelings of vulnerability, as measured by fear of crime, are associated with preferences for physically formidable and dominant mates (PPFDM), ostensibly because of the physical protection such mates can afford. In the lab and in the field, we tested whether the relationship between PPFDM and fear of crime is pronounced...
Article
Full-text available
Three studies were conducted to investigate people's conceptions of online trolls, particularly conceptions associated with psychological resilience to trolling. In Study 1, a factor analysis of participants’ ratings of characteristics of online trolls found a replicable bifactor model of conceptions of online trolls, with a general factor of gener...
Data
The current study aims to present a parsimonious measure of five factors of distress intolerance as proposed by Zvolensky et al. (2010). Exploratory (n = 511) and confirmatory (n = 157) factor analytic studies of items from five established measures of distress intolerance suggest a 20-item measure representing five dimensions of distress intoleran...
Article
Full-text available
The current study aims to present a parsimonious measure of five factors of distress intolerance as proposed by Zvolensky et al. (2010). Exploratory (n = 511) and confirmatory (n = 157) factor analytic studies of items from five established measures of distress intolerance suggest a 20-item measure representing five dimensions of distress intoleran...
Chapter
This chapter reviews the research on estimator variables that have the largest and most reliable effects on identification accuracy. It also reviews studies conducted in both laboratory and the field, as well as the results of archival studies of criminal cases. Archival investigations involve analysing data from existing case records, and allow re...
Conference Paper
Research suggests women have evolved an adaptation to avoid rape specifically during ovulation when costs to reproductive fitness are highest. This study examined the cognitive mechanisms that may underlie rape avoidance. Using a dot-probe paradigm we assessed the speed of detection of angry and neutral male and female faces, as well as threatening...