Steve Charman

Steve 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.

Sample Publications

Charman, S. D., Kavetski, M., & Hirn Mueller, D. (2017). Cognitive bias in the legal system: Police officers evaluate ambiguous evidence in a belief-consistent manner. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 6, 193-202. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2017.02.001.

Charman, S. D., Reyes, A., Villalba, D., & Evans, J. (2017). The (un)reliability of alibi corroborators: Failure to recognize faces of briefly encountered strangers puts innocent suspects at risk. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 35, 18-36. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2264.

Charman, S. D., & Quiroz, V. (2016). Blind sequential lineup administration reduces both false identifications and confidence in those identifications. Law and Human Behavior, 40, 477-487. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000197

Charman, S. D., Carbone, J., Kekesie, S., & Villalba, D. (2016). Evidence evaluation and evidence integration in legal decision-making: Order of evidence presentation as a moderator of context effects. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30, 214-225. doi: 10.1002/acp.3181

Leins, D., & Charman, S. D. (2016). Schema reliance and innocent alibi generation. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 21, 111-126. doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12035

Molinaro, P., Arndorfer, A., & Charman, S. D. (2013). Appearance-change instruction effects on eyewitness lineup identification accuracy are not moderated by amount of appearance change. Law and Human Behavior, 37, 432-440. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000049

Charman, S. D., & Carol, R. (2012). Age-progressed images may harm recognition of missing children. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 1, 171-178.

Charman, S. D., & Cahill, B. S. (2012). Witnesses’ memories for lineup fillers postdicts their identification accuracy. In press at the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.

Olson, E. A., & Charman, S. D. (2012). “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. (2011). 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.

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

Courses Taught

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