CHILD MEMORY LAB

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Wilfrid Laurier University

Lerna Hanceroglu, MA

Lerna completed her Master’s in Developmental Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. Lerna completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology with Honours from York University. Under the supervision of Dr. Michaela Hynie, Lerna’s undergraduate thesis examined the effects of mindfulness in adolescents with learning disabilities. More specifically, her thesis looked at whether mindfulness offers any benefits for increasing adolescents’ levels of self-esteem. She will continue pursing mindfulness research with children through her master’s thesis under the supervision of Dr. Kim Roberts. She will analyze whether mindfulness programs implemented in schools will have any beneficial effects on children’s mental, physical, and emotional states and whether it can help children recall events during forensic investigations. Through her thesis, Lerna hopes that programs such as mindfulness can help children’s overall mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Dr. Becky Earhart, PhD

Becky completed her PhD in the Fall of 2016. She completed her undergraduate degree at Western University in the Honours Psychology program. Becky's undergraduate thesis looked at children's memory for the frequency of details in a series of repeated events, and she was excited to come to Laurier to continue studying children's memory with Dr. Kim Roberts. Becky's Masters thesis examined young children's source monitoring abilities, and specifically whether asking about sources serially versus parallel influences their ability to tag information with the source where they learned it. Her other research interests include children's spatial and temporal memory, source monitoring training techniques, and children's "don't know" responses during forensic interviews. Becky is currently collaborating with Dr. David La Rooy at the University of Abertay in Scotland. 


Representative Research


  • Earhart, B., La Rooy, D., Brubacher, S.P., & Lamb, M.E. (2014). An examination of "Don't Know" responses in forensic interviews with children. Behavioral Sciences & the Law. doi:10.1002/bsl.2141
  • Earhart, B. & Roberts, K.P. (2014). The role of executive function in children's source monitoring with varying retrieval strategies. Frontiers in Psychology. 5(405), 1-12. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00405

McKenzie Vanderloon, MA

McKenzie completed her Masters in the Fall of 2016. She completed her undergraduate degree in the Honours Psychology program at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. Mark Fenske. Her honours thesis examined cognitive processes such as selective attention and the impact that memory has on one's emotions. McKenzie’s Masters Thesis is investigating children’s memory for repeated events and in particular, how the scripts we form in our minds (e.g., we have a script for grocery shopping-grab a cart, get vegetables, then frozen foods, and then pay)  influence our memory.  McKenzie is examining if asking about a ‘different’ time’ that deviates from our usual script (e.g., one time you forgot your wallet at the grocery store)  helps improve memory accuracy compared to just asking children about ‘usual’ times (any given time grocery shopping). These results will be beneficial for how investigative interviewers can ask effective questions to help children testify accurately in court and therefore be credible witnesses.

Dr. Sonja Brubacher, PhD

Dr. Brubacher completed her PhD in the fall of 2011. She conducted a set of studies for her dissertation related to best practices for interviewing children about events they have experienced on multiple occasions. Dr. Brubacher was a Laureate of the Canadian Psychological Association's Certificate of Academic Excellence for work on her BA Thesis, the recipient of several National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Research Assistantships, the Award for Teaching Excellence from the Council of Canadian Departments of Psychology, an NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (Master's), the Joseph Armand-Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (PhD), and recently held a Banting Postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Debra Poole at Central Michigan University.  Dr. Brubacher is now a Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.


Representative Research


  • Brubacher, S. P. & La Rooy, D. (2014). Witness recall across repeated interviews in a case of repeated abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect. 38(2), 202-211. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.       2013.06.010. doi:10.1037/law000011   
  • Brubacher, S. P., Powell, M. B., & Roberts, K. P. (2014). Recommendations for interviewing children about repeated experiences. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. 20(4), 325-335. 
  • Poole. D. A., Brubacher, S. P., & Dickinson, J. J. (Eds.) (2014). Children as witnesses. APA handbook of forensic psychology, Vol. 2: Criminal investigation, adjudication, and sentencing outcomes. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 
  • Poole, D. A., Dickinson, J. J., Brubacher, S. P., Liberty, A. E., & Kaake, A. M. (2014). Deficient cognitive control fuels children's exuberant false allegations. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 118, 101-109. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2013.08.013  
  • Brubacher, S. P., Malloy, L. C., Lamb, M. E., & Roberts, K. P. (2013). How do interviewers and children discuss individual occurrences of alleged repeated abuse in forensic interviews? 27(4), 443-460. doi:10.1002/acp.2920 
  • Brubacher, S. P., Roberts, K. P., & Obhi, S. S. (2013). Gaze, goals and growing up: Effects on imitative grasping. British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 31(3), 318-333. doi:10.1111/bjdp.12009
  • Malloy, L. C., Brubacher, S. P., & Lamb, M. E. (2013). "Because she's one who listens": Children discuss disclosure recipients in forensic interviews. Child Maltreatment. 18(4), 245-251.
  • Brubacher, S. P., Roberts, K. P., & Powell, M. B. (2012). Retrieval of episodic versus generic information: Does the order of recall affect the amount and accuracy of details reported by children about repeated events? Developmental Psychology. 48(1), 111-112. doi:10.1037/a0025864
  • Obhi, S. S, Swiderski, K. M., & Brubacher, S. P. (2012). Induced power changes the sense of agency. Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal. 21(3), 1547-1550. doi:10.1016/j/concog.2012.06.008  
  • Brubacher, S. P., Roberts, K. P., & Powell, M. B. (2009, April). The NICHD protocol: Does the type of event recalled in the practice phase affect children?s recall of a target single or repeated event? Paper presented to the second annual international Investigation Interviewing Research Group, Middlesbrough-Tees, UK.
  • Brubacher, S. P. & Roberts, K. P. (2009, March). The influence of source-monitoring performance, event frequency, and age on the credibility of children's live narratives. Poster presented to Division 41, American Psychological Association, the American Psychology-Law Society, San Antonio, TX.
  • Brubacher, S. P., Roberts, K. P., Powell, M.B. & Jennings, D.M. (2009, April). Does order matter in recalling script information and episodic information, in children?s reports of a repeated event? Poster presented to the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Denver, CO.
  • Brubacher, S. P., Obhi, S., & Roberts, K. P. (2009, October). The effects of eye gaze on imitative grasping in children and adults. Poster presented to the 6th Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, San Antonio, TX.
  • Brubacher, S. P., Roberts, K.P., & Powell, M.B. (2008, March). Does Type of Memory Practice Matter when Interviewing Children about a Repeated Event? Paper presented to Division 41, American Psychological Association, the American Psychology-Law Society, Jacksonville, FL.           
  • Brubacher, S. P. & Roberts, K. P. (2007, October). Detail- versus thematic-labeling at encoding: Does the type of label differentially affect children?s recognition and source-monitoring performance? Poster presented to the 5th Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, Santa Fe, NM.    

Dr. Angela Evans, PhD

Dr. Evans completed her MA in the lab, before going on to get her Ph.D. in Developmental Science/Developmental Psychology and Education, O.I.S.E. University of Toronto. She is now an Assistant Professor at Brock University. Her research focuses on the influence of children's social and cognitive development on their moral understanding and behaviour. Dr. Evans uses experimental methods to systematically study children's understanding of deception and their actual deceptive behaviours both in the laboratory and in the field. She also examines cultural factors that influence children's understanding and evaluation of lies in different contexts, as well as their actual lie-telling behaviours. Additionally, Dr. Evans is interested in issues related to child eyewitness testimony such as children's competency, credibility, and our ability to detect their lies.

 

 Representative Research


  • Ding, X. P., Omrin, D. S., Evans, A. D., Fu, G., & Chen, G. (2014). Elementary school children's cheating behavior and its cognitive correlates. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 121, 85-95. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2013.12.005  
  • Lyons, T. D., & Evans, A. D. (2014). Young children's understanding that promising guarantees performance: The effects of age and maltreatment. Law and Human Behavior. 38(2), 162-170. doi:10.1037/lhb0000061
  • Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (Eds.) (2014). Lying, morality, and development. Handbook of moral development (2nd ed.), New York, NY: Psychology Press. 
  • Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (2014). The relation between 8- to 17-years-olds' judgments of other's honesty and their own honest behaviors. International Journal of Behavioural Development. 38(3), 277-281. doi:10.1177/0165025413517580   
  • Brunet, M. K., Evans, A. D., Talwar, V., Bala, N., & Lindsay, R. C.L., (2013). How children report true and fabricated stressful and non-stressful events. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. 20(6), 867-881. doi:10.1080/13218719.2012.750896
  • Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (2013). Emergence of lying in very young children. Developmental Psychology. 49(10), 1958-1963. doi:10.1037/a0031409  
  • Xu, F., Evans, A. D., Li, C., & Qinggong, H. G. (2013). The role of honesty and benevolence in children's judgments of trustworthiness. Journal of Behavioral Development. 37(3), 257-265. 
  • Evans, A. D., Brunet, M. K., Talwar, V., Bala, N., & Lindsay, R C.L. (2012). The effects of repetition on children's true and false reports. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. 19(4), 517-529. doi:10.1080/13218719.2011.615808    
  • Evans, A. D., & Lyon, T. D. (2012). Assessing children's competency to take the oath in court: The influence of question type on children's accuracy. Law and Human Behaviour. doi:10.1007/s10979-011-9280-6
  • Fu, G., Evans, A. D., Xu, F., & Lee, K. (2012). Young children can tell strategic lies after committing a transgression. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 113(1), 147-158. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2012.04.003 
  • Moriguchi, Y., Evans, A. D., Hiraki, K., Itakura, S. & Lee, K. (2012). Cultural differences in the development of cognitive shifting: East-West comparison. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 111(2), 156-163. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2011.09.001 
  • Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (2011). Performance on executive functioning tasks and lie-telling behaviors in 8- to 16-year-olds. Developmental Psychology. doi:10.1037/ a0023425
  • Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (2011). Verbal deception from late childhood to middle adolescence and its relation to executive functioning skills. Developmental Psychology. 47(4), 1108-1116. doi:10.1037/a0023425   
  • Evans, A. D., Xu, F., & Lee, K. (2011). When all signs point to you: Lies told in the face of evidence. Developmental Psychology, 47, 39-49. doi:10.1037/a0020787
  • Li, A. S., Kelley, E. A., Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (2011). Exploring the ability to deceive in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 185-195. doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1045-4
  • Loke, I. C., Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (2011). The neural correlates of reasoning about prosocial-helping decisions: An event-related brains potential study. Brain Research. 1369, 140-148. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2010.10.109  
  • Bala, N., Evans, A. D., & Bala, E. (2010). Hearing the voices of children in the Canadian criminal justice system: Recognizing capacity and facilitating testimony. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 22, 21-45.  
  • Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (2010). Promising to tell the truth makes 8- to 16-year olds more honest. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 28, 801-811. doi:10.1002/bsl.960
  • Evans, A. D., Lee, K., & Lyon, T. (2009). Complex questions asked by defense lawyers but not prosecutors predicts convictions in child abuse trials. Law and Human Behavior, 33, 258-264.
  • Evans, A. D., Roberts, K. P., Price, H., & Stefek, C. (2010). The use of paraphrasing in investigative interviews. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34, 585-592.
  • Evans, A. D., & Roberts, K. P. (Eds) (2009). Children in an information society: The relations between source monitoring, mental-state understanding and knowledge acquisition in young children. Cognitive Development Society Biannual meeting. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Evans, A. D., & Roberts, K. P. (2009). The effects of different paraphrasing styles on the quality of reports from young child witnesses. Psychology, Crime & Law. 15(6), 531-546. doi:10.1080/10683160802385398     
  • Evans, A. D., & Roberts, K. P. (2009). Can paraphrasing increase length, richness and accuracy of reports from young child witnesses? Psychology Crime and Law, 15, 531-548.
  • Fu, G., Evans, A. D., Wang, L., & Lee, K. (2008). Lying in the name of the collective good: A developmental study. Developmental Science, 11(4), 495-503. doi:10.1111/ j.1467-7687.2008.00695.x   

Dr. Sean Cameron, PhD


Dr. Cameron completed his PhD in the Child Memory Lab, and his MA with Dr. Pratt at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is now a resource teacher at Westminister Woods Public School in Guelph. Dr. Cameron's PhD dissertation focused on source monitoring training with 3-8 year-old children using a mult-tier procedure. Recently, he provided a report on the Teacher Learning and Leadership Program (TLLP) - iPads for students with autism. The device is able to assist students with autism who have difficulty with traditional forms of writing and who may benefit from the use of a visual schedule to help them predict and organize their day.

Una Glisic, MA


Una completed her Master's degree in the Child Memory Lab, in the subject of children's memories for repeated events. Una then went on to work as Research Methods / Statistics Lab Coordinator, and subsequently as Human Research Ethics Coordinator in the Psychology Department, both at Wilfrid Laurier University. Una is currently employed by Wilfrid Laurier University, working as the Animal Care Committee / Strategic Planning Coordinator.


Representative Research 

  • Brubacher, S., Glisic, U., Roberts, K.P., & Powell, M.B. (2011). Children’s ability to recall unique aspects of one occurrence of a repeated event. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 351-358. doi:10.1002/acp.1696

Donna Drohan-Jennings, MA

Representative Research


  • Drohan-Jennings, D. (2010). Interviewing children about repeated events: Does mental context reinstatement improve young children's narratives. Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). Paper 987.
  • Drohan-Jennings, D., Roberts, K.P., & Powell, M.B. (2010). Mental context reinstatement increases resistance to false suggestions after children have experienced a repeated event. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. doi:10.1080/13218711003 739110
  • Drohan-Jennings, D., Roberts, K.P., & Powell, M.B. (2010, March). The effectiveness of mental context reinstatement in helping children with repeated-event experience resist false suggestions. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology - Law Society, Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Courtney Arseneau, MA

Kayleen Willemsen, MA


Kayleen became a member of the Child Memory Lab in 2011, where she worked as a Research Assistant for two years. After completing her undergraduate thesis with Dr. Tobias Krettenauer, Kayleen graduated with her Honours BA: Psychology Research Specialist degree in 2013. Afterwards, Kayleen completed her Master's thesis with Dr. Kim Roberts and recently finished the requirements for her Master's degree in Developmental Psychology. Kayleen's Master's thesis investigated the ways in which children think about their abuse in the context of investigative interviews with social workers and police officers. Currently, she is employed as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist for a private company in Burlington.

Leanne Bird, MA


Leanne recently completed her Masters in Developmental Psychology. She completed her undergraduate degree in the Honours Psychology program at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. Meaghan McMurtry, and her honours thesis looked at the measurement of Children’s fear (both alone and in the context of pain) in clinical populations. Her MA thesis examined developmental differences in the use of cues and Children’s source monitoring performance.

Former Research Assistants

  • Amy Linseman    
  • Paula Ghelman
  • Hannah Giles
  • Sharie Sobers
  • Anissa Mumin
  • Alexia Lambis
  • Candice Sommers
  • Jennifer Lawly
  • Kelsey Donald
  • Bryanna Gallant
  • Dominique Skubnik
  • Shawneen Dayman
  • Harneet Kang
  • Zhuyi Liu
  • Weixin Pan
  • Yi Wang
  • Emma Rempel
  • Monica Crnogorac
  • Mackenzie Hills
  • Riana Rajaram
  • Leila Setyo
  • Shaleesa Ledlie
  • Natalie Kim
  • Melanie Park
  • Mathusha Puvanendran