My research focuses on the application of psychological theory to the study of jury decision-making, and the specific application of terror management theory to legal issues.
My recent work in the area of jury decision-making has focused on the effects of expert testimony involving dangerousness assessments in death penalty cases and in civil commitment trials of sex offenders. Over the past few years, I have worked on a series of studies focused on identifying mechanisms for overcoming jurors’ preferences for “clinical” testimony based on the opinion and experiences of a clinician over more reliable and more scientifically valid “actuarial” testimony.
Other research I have conducted in the area of jury decision-making has focused on topics such as the impact of pretrial publicity and inadmissible evidence the comprehensibility of judicial instructions and juror perceptions of DNA evidence.
Recently, I integrated much of my previous research on jury decision-making in a book on Scientific Jury Selection and published a 2-volume edited book set entitled Psychology in the Courtroom focuses on reviewing important social psychological and clinical psychological factors relevant to courtroom decision-making.