Office:206 South Hall
Rank: Associate Professor
Phone: (570) 662-4773
Activities and Interests:
- Life span developmental psychology
- Psychology Club Advisor
- B.A. - Waynesburg College
- M.A. - West Virginia University
- Ph.D. - West Virginia University
- I received my Ph.D. from West Virginia University in Life-Span Developmental Psychology in 2005. I chose to study life-span development because I am truly interested in how psychological processes—particularly cognition—unfold over the course of an individual’s life. Broadly, I am interested in memory across the lifespan and I have specific interests in how memory development relates to psychology and law. In particular, I study suggestibility, which refers to an individual’s tendency to accept misinformation during a questioning procedure. This has important implications in the legal system, as many innocent individuals have been wrongfully convicted of crimes based on faulty eyewitness testimony (see www.innocenceproject.org for more information).
- Since coming to Mansfield, I have supervised many students independent study research projects, including an investigation of psychological factors (such as shyness, desire to please others, trust) and how they relate to suggestibility in college- age students (Penovse & Verno, 2008). Another research project examined how a person's gender interacts with an interviewer's gender to influence the overall accuracy of eyewitness testimony (Farley, Verno, & Scullin, 2007). This research project showed that male interviewers elicit a lot of action- oriented details from eye witnesses while female interviewers are more likely than male interviewers to elicit details about what people look like. I also have interests in jury decision making and racial bias against minority defendants. I have completed research projects in these areas, with some unexpected results (Simpson & Verno, 2007). Mock jurors in our sample showed less bias against minority defendant than the White defendants. I look forward to continuing these lines of research with my students here at Mansfield University.