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Professor Fiona Gabbert

Staff details

PositionProfessor of Applied Psychology Director of Goldsmiths' Forensic Psychology Unit
Department Psychology
Email f.gabbert (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7078 5496
Professor Fiona Gabbert

Summary of research

I am interested in the strengths and weaknesses of human memory. Much of my research has real-world application, focusing on Eyewitness Memory, Investigative Interviewing, and Suggestibility.

Academic qualifications

MSc PhD

Areas of supervision

I would be happy to supervise students in any of the areas mentioned on my 'research' tab, or in closely related areas.

Current PhD students are focusing on Developing and testing new cognitive mnemonics to facilitate retrieval and advance the science of investigative interviewing (Becky Wheeler), Mental disorders and investigative interviewing (Laura Oxburgh),Facilitating recall for incidentally encoded events (Ashleigh McGregor), and Improving the training of child witness investigative interviewers (Annabelle Nicol). I am also involved in the remote co-supervision of Luciano Haussen Pinto (PUCRS University, Brazil)who is extending research on the Self-Administered Interview.

Research Interests

 

In general terms, I am interested in the strengths and weaknesses of human memory. Most of my research draws upon and contributes to theoretical and empirical research in social and cognitive psychology domains to understand and significantly improve the reliability of eyewitness testimony. My current research falls broadly within the following areas:

 

Eyewitness Memory:  The Criminal Justice System is often heavily reliant on the recollections of eyewitnesses when gathering evidence for a forensic investigation. It is vital that these recollections are accurate or miscarriages of justice can occur. However, human memory is fallible and susceptible to error. Understanding how errors in memory can arise has been the focus of much applied memory research, which in turn has generated knowledge about factors known to influence the accuracy and reliability of eyewitness recollections. These include factors that can be controlled for in the legal system (e.g., interview procedures, line-up administration, etc.), and those that cannot (e.g., stress, exposure to misleading post-event information, etc.).

My research in this area has explored many of these factors. Recent collaborative projects have examined the efficacy of different interview procedures, line-up procedures and face composite programmes, with witnesses of all different ages. I have recently co-edited a book 'Suggestibility in Legal Contexts: Psychological Research and Forensic Implications' with colleagues Dr Anne Ridley and Dr David La Rooy, that explores a number of topics central to the reliability of eyewitness testimony including controversial topics such as recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse in adulthood, and coerced or false confessions. Core chapters cover salient aspects of the field such as research on ‘immediate’ versus ‘delayed’ suggestibility, and the relationship between suggestibility and vulnerability factors including age, intellectual disabilities, personality and memory.

I have a particular interest in social influences on memory, and the phenomenon of ‘memory  conformity’ that can occur when people discuss their memories together. My research in this area has contributed to the theoretical understanding of human memory, as the majority of previous psychological research focuses only on individual memorial performance. Forensic implications are that witness statements that appear corroborative may actually be ‘contaminated’, and hence unreliable.

 

Investigative Interviewing:  Information from victims and eyewitnesses plays a crucial role in criminal investigations worldwide. High quality, reliable evidence is vital for the investigation process, the pursuit of fair prosecutions, and for preventing miscarriages of justice. Poor investigative interviewing procedures (as a result of ignorance, incompetence, inadequate training, or lack of resources), fail victims by denying them recourse to the justice they deserve. Such failings also affect witnesses by limiting the usability, credibility and reliability of the vital evidence they provide.

I am currently working with great colleagues (including Dr Lorraine Hope, Professor Ron Fisher, and Professor Neil Brewer, Dr David La Rooy, and Dr Coral Dando, among others) to advance the science of investigative interviewing by developing innovative and effective interview tools and techniques, as well as evidence-based procedures to sustainably improve investigative interviewing training and maintain skills.

One of our most significant contributions to the field of applied memory research has been to  design and develop a ‘Self-Administered Interview’ (SAI) recall tool that can be used by the police to elicit high quality evidence from multiple witnesses quickly, efficiently, and with minimal resources necessary. Specifically, it is a protocol of instructions and questions, based upon cognitive theories of remembering, that support eyewitnesses when recollecting and recording their memories of an incident. The SAI is the product of a successful collaboration between the academic research team (myself, Dr Lorraine Hope, and Professor Ron Fisher) and a team of end-users (most notably police practitioners based at Greater Manchester Police). For more information see www.selfadministeredinterview.com.

 

Non-forensic topics of interest

Social influences on memory: I am interested in exploring the adaptive nature of remembering with others in a social context, and understanding how collaborative retrieval can have a positive influence on the quantity and quality of information recalled from memory.

Metacognition and social-metacognition: Understanding how people (a) exert control what they attend to and encode, and (b) regulate the information they report from memory, based upon their insight into their own memory and their beliefs about other people’s memory.

Publications

Edited Book

Suggestibility in Legal Contexts: Psychological Research and Forensic Implications
Ridley, Anne; Gabbert, Fiona and La Rooy, David, eds. 2013. Suggestibility in Legal Contexts: Psychological Research and Forensic Implications. London: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-470-66369-1

Suggestibility in Legal Contexts: Psychological Research and Forensic Implications
Ridley, Anne; Gabbert, Fiona and La Rooy, David, eds. 2013. Suggestibility in Legal Contexts: Psychological Research and Forensic Implications. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0470663684

Book Section

Training in Investigative Interviewing: observations and challenges
St-Yves, M; Griffiths, A; Cyr, M; Gabbert, Fiona; Carmans, M; Sellie, C; Bruneau, G and Powell, M. 2014. Training in Investigative Interviewing: observations and challenges. In: M St-Yves and A Griffiths, eds. Investigative Interviewing: The Essential Handbook of best practices. Canada: Carswell, pp. 245-269. ISBN 978-0-7798-6273-3

Suggestibility and memory conformity
Gabbert, Fiona and Hope, Lorraine. 2013. Suggestibility and memory conformity. In: Anne Ridley; Fiona Gabbert and David La Rooy, eds. Suggestibility in Legal Contexts: Psychological Research and Forensic Implications. London: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-470-66369-1

Suggestibility in Legal Contexts: What do we know?
Ridley, Anne; Gabbert, Fiona and La Rooy, David. 2013. Suggestibility in Legal Contexts: What do we know? In: Anne Ridley; Fiona Gabbert and David La Rooy, eds. Suggestibility in Legal Contexts: Psychological Research and Forensic Implications. London: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 217-226. ISBN 978-0470663684

Suggestibility and memory conformity
Gabbert, Fiona and Hope, Lorraine. 2013. Suggestibility and memory conformity. In: Anne Ridley; Fiona Gabbert and David La Rooy, eds. Suggestibility in Legal Contexts: Psychological Research and Forensic Implications. London: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 63-84. ISBN 978-0470663684

Conformity in Eyewitness Reports
Gabbert, Fiona. 2007. Conformity in Eyewitness Reports. In: Brian Cutler, ed. Encyclopedia of psychology and law. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN 978-1412951890

The ageing eyewitness
Memon, Amina; Gabbert, Fiona and Hope, Lorraine. 2004. The ageing eyewitness. In: Joanna Adler, ed. Forensic Psychology: Debates, Concepts and Practice. Willan, pp. 96-112. ISBN 978-1843920090

Article

Police officers’ perceptions and experiences with mentally disordered suspects
Oxburgh, L.; Cherryman, J.; Milne, R. and Gabbert, F.. 2016. Police officers’ perceptions and experiences with mentally disordered suspects. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, ISSN 0160-2527

Memory and the Operational Witness: Police officer recall of firearms encounters as a function of active response role
Hope, Lorraine; Blocksidge, Dave; Gabbert, Fiona; Sauer, J.; Lewinski, W.; Mirashi, A. and Atuk, E.. 2016. Memory and the Operational Witness: Police officer recall of firearms encounters as a function of active response role. Law and Human Behavior, 40, pp. 23-35. ISSN 0147-7307

How effective is retrieval support for witnesses with different levels of working and source memory?
Krix, Alana; Sauerland, Melanie; Mercklebach, Harald; Gabbert, Fiona and Hope, Lorraine. 2015. How effective is retrieval support for witnesses with different levels of working and source memory? Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 27, pp. 335-348. ISSN 2044-5911

Enhancing older adults’ eyewitness memory for present and future events with the Self-administered Interview.
Gawrylowicz, Julie; Memon, Amina; Scoboria, Alan; Hope, Lorraine and Gabbert, Fiona. 2014. Enhancing older adults’ eyewitness memory for present and future events with the Self-administered Interview. Psychology and Aging, 29(4), pp. 885-890. ISSN 0882-7974

Registered replication report: Schooler & Engstler-Schooler (1990)
Alogna, V. K. and Gabbert, Fiona. 2014. Registered replication report: Schooler & Engstler-Schooler (1990). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9, pp. 556-578. ISSN 1745-6916

Providing eyewitnesses with initial retrieval support: What works at immediate and subsequent recall?
Krix, Alana; Sauerland, Melanie; Gabbert, Fiona and Hope, Lorraine. 2014. Providing eyewitnesses with initial retrieval support: What works at immediate and subsequent recall? Psychology, Crime and Law, 20(10), pp. 1005-1027. ISSN 1068-316X

Protecting and enhancing eyewitness memory: The Impact of an Initial Recall Attempt on Performance in an Investigative Interview
Hope, Lorraine; Gabbert, Fiona; Fisher, Ronald P. and Jamieson, Kat. 2014. Protecting and enhancing eyewitness memory: The Impact of an Initial Recall Attempt on Performance in an Investigative Interview. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28(3), pp. 304-313. ISSN 0888-4080

Face recognition and description abilities in people with mild Intellectual Disabilities.
Gawrylowicz, Julie; Gabbert, Fiona; Carson, Derek; Lindsay, William and Hancock, Peter. 2013. Face recognition and description abilities in people with mild Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 26(5), pp. 435-446. ISSN 1360-2322

Explicit Mentalizing Mechanisms and Their Adaptive Role in Memory Conformity
Wheeler, Rebecca; Allan, Kevin; Tsivilis, Dimitris; Martin, Douglas and Gabbert, Fiona. 2013. Explicit Mentalizing Mechanisms and Their Adaptive Role in Memory Conformity. PLOS ONE, 8(4), ISSN 1932-6203

Who? What? When? Use of a novel timeline technique to facilitate recall of a complex event
Hope, Lorraine; Mullis, Rebecca and Gabbert, Fiona. 2013. Who? What? When? Use of a novel timeline technique to facilitate recall of a complex event. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 2(1), pp. 20-24. ISSN 2211-3681

Exogenous social identity cues differentially affect the dynamic tracking of individual target faces
Allen, Roy and Gabbert, Fiona. 2013. Exogenous social identity cues differentially affect the dynamic tracking of individual target faces. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 39(6), pp. 1982-1989. ISSN 0278-7393

Postincident conferring by law enforcement officers: Determining the impact of team discussions on statement content, accuracy, and officer beliefs.
Hope, Lorraine; Gabbert, Fiona and Fraser, Joanne. 2013. Postincident conferring by law enforcement officers: Determining the impact of team discussions on statement content, accuracy, and officer beliefs. Law and Human Behavior, 37(2), pp. 117-127. ISSN 0147-7307

Holistic Versus Featural Facial Composite Systems for People with Mild Intellectual Disabilities
Gawrylowicz, Julie; Gabbert, Fiona; Carson, Derek; Lindsay, William and Hancock, Peter. 2012. Holistic Versus Featural Facial Composite Systems for People with Mild Intellectual Disabilities. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26(5), pp. 716-720. ISSN 0888-4080

Memory conformity and the perceived accuracy of Self versus Other
Allan, Kevin; Midjord, JP; Martin, Douglas and Gabbert, Fiona. 2012. Memory conformity and the perceived accuracy of Self versus Other. Memory & Cognition, 40(2), pp. 280-286. ISSN 0090-502X

Delay and Age Effects on Identification Accuracy and Confidence: An Investigation Using a Video Identification Parade
Clifford, Brian; Havard, Catriona; Memon, Amina and Gabbert, Fiona. 2012. Delay and Age Effects on Identification Accuracy and Confidence: An Investigation Using a Video Identification Parade. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26(1), pp. 130-139. ISSN 0888-4080

Protecting Against Misleading Post-event Information with a Self-Administered Interview
Gabbert, Fiona; Hope, Lorraine; Fisher, Ronald P. and Jamieson, Kat. 2012. Protecting Against Misleading Post-event Information with a Self-Administered Interview. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26(4), pp. 568-575. ISSN 0888-4080

Protecting Against Misleading Post-event Information with a Self-Administered Interview
Gabbert, Fiona; Hope, Lorraine; Fisher, Ronald P. and Jamieson, Kat. 2012. Protecting Against Misleading Post-event Information with a Self-Administered Interview. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26(4), pp. 568-575. ISSN 08884080

Witnesses in Action: The Effect of Physical Exertion on Recall and Recognition
Hope, L.; Lewinski, W.; Dixon, J.; Blocksidge, D. and Gabbert, F.. 2012. Witnesses in Action: The Effect of Physical Exertion on Recall and Recognition. Psychological Science, 23(4), pp. 386-390. ISSN 0956-7976

A field evaluation of the VIPER system: A new technique for eliciting eyewitness identification evidence
Memon, Amina; Havard, Catriona; Clifford, Brian; Gabbert, Fiona and Watt, Moray. 2011. A field evaluation of the VIPER system: A new technique for eliciting eyewitness identification evidence. Psychology, Crime and Law, 17(8), pp. 711-729. ISSN 1068-316X

From laboratory to the street: Capturing witness memory using a Self-Administered Interview
Hope, Lorraine; Gabbert, Fiona and Fisher, Ronald P.. 2011. From laboratory to the street: Capturing witness memory using a Self-Administered Interview. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 16(2), pp. 211-226. ISSN 1355-3259

Memory conformity: Can eyewitnesses influence each other's memories for an event?
Gabbert, Fiona; Memon, Amina and Allan, Kevin. 2011. Memory conformity: Can eyewitnesses influence each other's memories for an event? Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, pp. 163-174. ISSN 0888-4080

A comparison of video and static photo lineups with child and adolescent witnesses
Havard, Catriona; Memon, Amina; Clifford, Brian and Gabbert, Fiona. 2010. A comparison of video and static photo lineups with child and adolescent witnesses. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24(9), pp. 1209-1221. ISSN 0888-4080

When Eyewitnesses Talk
Wright, Daniel; Memon, Amina; Skagerberg, Elin and Gabbert, Fiona. 2009. When Eyewitnesses Talk. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(3), pp. 174-178. ISSN 0963-7214

Abstract Obtaining evidence from child witnesses using video parades.
Memon, Amina; Harvard, C; Clifford, Brian and Gabbert, Fiona. 2009. Abstract Obtaining evidence from child witnesses using video parades. Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology, 5(1), p. 49. ISSN 1547-769X

Protecting eyewitness evidence: Examining the efficacy of a self-administered interview tool.
Gabbert, Fiona; Hope, Lorraine and Fisher, Ronald P.. 2009. Protecting eyewitness evidence: Examining the efficacy of a self-administered interview tool. Law and Human Behavior, 33(4), pp. 298-307. ISSN 0147-7307

Protecting Eyewitness Evidence: Examining the Efficacy of a Self-Administered Interview Tool
Gabbert, Fiona; Hope, Lorraine and Fisher, Ronald P.. 2008. Protecting Eyewitness Evidence: Examining the Efficacy of a Self-Administered Interview Tool. Law and Human Behavior, 33, pp. 298-307. ISSN 0147-7307

I still think it was a banana: Memorable lies and forgettable truths
Allan, Kevin and Gabbert, Fiona. 2008. I still think it was a banana: Memorable lies and forgettable truths. Acta Psychologica, 127(2), pp. 299-308. ISSN 0001-6918

“With a little help from my friends…”: The role of co-witness relationship in susceptibility to misinformation.
Hope, Lorraine; Ost, James; Gabbert, Fiona; Healey, Sarah and Lenton, Emma. 2008. “With a little help from my friends…”: The role of co-witness relationship in susceptibility to misinformation. Acta Psychologica, 127(2), pp. 476-484. ISSN 0001-6918

Changing the Criterion for Memory Conformity in Free Recall.
Wright, Daniel; Gabbert, Fiona; Memon, Amina and London, K. 2008. Changing the Criterion for Memory Conformity in Free Recall. Memory, 16(2), pp. 137-148. ISSN 0965-8211

I saw it for longer than you: The relationship between perceived encoding duration and memory conformity
Gabbert, Fiona; Memon, Amina and Wright, Daniel. 2007. I saw it for longer than you: The relationship between perceived encoding duration and memory conformity. Acta Psychologica, 124(3), pp. 319-331. ISSN 0001-6918

Memory conformity: Disentangling the steps towards influence during a discussion.
Gabbert, Fiona and Memon, Amina. 2006. Memory conformity: Disentangling the steps towards influence during a discussion. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 13(3), pp. 480-485. ISSN 1069-9384

Say it to my face: Examining the effects of socially encountered misinformation
Gabbert, Fiona; Memon, Amina; Allan, Kevin and Wright, Daniel. 2004. Say it to my face: Examining the effects of socially encountered misinformation. Legal & Criminological Psychology, 9(2), pp. 214-227. ISSN 1355-3259

Improving the identification accuracy of senior witnesses: Do pre-lineup questions and sequential testing help?
Memon, Amina and Gabbert, Fiona. 2003. Improving the identification accuracy of senior witnesses: Do pre-lineup questions and sequential testing help? Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(2), pp. 341-347. ISSN 0021-9010

Unravelling the effects of sequential presentation in culprit present lineups
Memon, Amina and Gabbert, Fiona. 2003. Unravelling the effects of sequential presentation in culprit present lineups. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17(6), pp. 703-714. ISSN 0888-4080

Memory conformity: Can eyewitnesses influence each other's memories for an event?
Gabbert, Fiona; Memon, Amina and Allan, Kevin. 2003. Memory conformity: Can eyewitnesses influence each other's memories for an event? Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17, pp. 533-543. ISSN 0888-4080

Post incident conferring by law enforcement officers: Do discussions affect beliefs and accuracy
Hope, Lorraine; Gabbert, Fiona and Fraser, Joanne. Post incident conferring by law enforcement officers: Do discussions affect beliefs and accuracy. Law & Human Behavior, ISSN 0147-7307

The suitability of holistic versus featural facial composite systems for people with mild learning disabilities
Gawrylowicz, Julie; Gabbert, Fiona; Carson, Derek; Lindsay, B and Hancock, Peter. The suitability of holistic versus featural facial composite systems for people with mild learning disabilities. Applied Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 0888-4080

Conference or Workshop Item

An innovative method for improving accident investigation
Gabbert, Fiona; Hope, Lorraine; Jamieson, Kat and Lang, Katie L.. 2010. 'An innovative method for improving accident investigation'. In: Society of Petroleum Engineers Middle East Health, Safety, Security and Environment Conference and Exhibition (SPE MEHSSE),. Manama, Bahrain.

Report

Field Evaluation of the Self-Administered Interview
Gabbert, Fiona and Hope, Lorraine. 2012. Field Evaluation of the Self-Administered Interview. Technical Report. UNSPECIFIED.

The Impact of Conferring on Individual and Collaborative Recall in a Policing Context.
Hope, Lorraine and Gabbert, Fiona. 2010. The Impact of Conferring on Individual and Collaborative Recall in a Policing Context.. Technical Report. UNSPECIFIED.

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