Stephen Charman

Stephen Charman
  • Ph.D. Social Psychology Iowa State University- Ames, Iowa
  • M.S. Social Psychology Iowa State University- Ames, Iowa
  • B. S. Psychology (Honours) Queen’s University- Kingston, Canada

Research Interests

Dr. Charman's primary research interests lie mainly in the area of eyewitness psychology, but cover legal psychological issues more broadly. Specifically, his research topics include: the underlying cognitive processes of eyewitnesses; various lineup procedures that may improve eyewitness performance; the effectiveness of age-progression techniques; the forensic usefulness (and dangers) of facial composites; and the processes by which crime suspects generate alibis (and how those alibis are subsequently evaluated). His research has been published in book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and scientific journal articles, including Law and Human Behavior, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, and Current Directions in Psychological Science. He currently maintains a legal psychology lab that involves numerous undergraduate and graduate students. He hopes that his work will help improve the accuracy of criminal trial verdicts, which, as recent DNA exoneration cases have shown, can be tragically mistaken.

Select Publications (download select papers below)

Charman, S. D., & Cahill, B. S. (in press). Witnesses’ memories for lineup fillers postdicts their identification accuracy. In press at the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.

Charman, S. D. & Wells, G. L. (in press). The moderating effect of witness accuracy on post-identification feedback: A critical test of the cues-based inference conceptualization. In press at Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Olson, E. A., & Charman, S. D. (in press). “But Can You Prove it?” Examining the Quality of Innocent Suspects’ Alibis. In press at Psychology, Crime, and Law.

Charman, S. D., Wells, G. L., & Joy, S. (2011). The dud effect: Highly dissimilar fillers increase confidence in lineup identifications. Law and Human Behavior, 35, 479-500.

Charman, S. D., Carlucci, M., Vallano, J., & Hyman Gregory, A. (2010). The selective cue integration framework: A theory of post-identification witness confidence assessment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 16, 204-218.

Charman, S. D., Hyman Gregory, A.R., Carlucci, M. (2009). The diagnostic utility of facial composites: Beliefs of guilt can bias perceived similarity between composite and suspect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 15(1), 76-90.

Charman, S. D. & Wells, G. L. (2008). Can eyewitnesses correct for external influences on their lineup identifications? The actual/counterfactual assessment paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14(1), 5-20.

Charman, S. D. (2007). Appearance Change instruction. Encyclopedia of Psychology and Law. London: Sage Publications.

Charman, S. D. & Wells, G. L. (2007). Eyewitness lineups: Is the appearance-change instruction a good idea? Law and Human Behavior, 31, 3-22.

Charman, S. D., & Wells, G. L. (2007). Eyewitness identification. In David S. Clark (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Law and Society. London: Sage Publications.

Charman, S. D. & Wells, G. L. (2007). Applied lineup theory. In R. C. L. Lindsay, D. Ross, D. Read, & M. Toglia (Eds.), Handbook of Eyewitness Psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Wells, G. L., Charman, S. D., & Olson, E. A. (2005). Building face composites can harm lineup identification performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 11, 147-156.

Wells, G. L., Olson, E. A., & Charman, S. D. (2003). Distorted retrospective eyewitness reports as functions of feedback and delay. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 9, 42-52.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Proseminar in Social Psychology
  • Social Cognition

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