Dr. Wetmore's Research Lab

Research Interests

The overall focus of my research examines the intersection between cognition and the legal system.  I am always looking for new areas of interest as well. My recent research has been in three major areas.

  1. Jailhouse informants. Jailhouse informants are one of the leading causes of wrongful conviction, yet very little is known about this form of evidence. So questions like: how do jurors perceive and weigh this information?, how accurate is informant testimony?, and are effective safeguards in place to protect against false evidence?, are questions I hope to address.
  2. Eyewitness identifications. At its core an eyewitness identification procedure is a memory test. I am looking into ways that we can either improve the existing test (most commonly a lineup) or create new ways to assess an eyewitness's memory.
  3. Facial Recognition.  Lastly, related to eyewitness identifications, I'm interested in facial processing and memory in general. Our brains are specially designed to process faces, however there are still instances when this mechanism breaks down and I'm interested in examining these instances. For instance, a well-known phenomenon is the cross-race effect, or own-race bias, in which we are better at identifying someone from our own race better than from another race. Although we know the phenomenon exists, little is known about what cognitive components could be contributing to this memory deficit.

What Dr. Wetmore is looking for in a Research Assistant

    Although she will consider every student individually for a research position, here are some general guidelines for Dr. Wetmore's preferences for research students:

    • Research Experience & Work Study Research Students
      • GPA: 2.0 or higher
      • Classification: Any
      • Classwork: No requirements
      • Preferred skills: Experience with Microsoft Office (especially Excel and Word) and SPSS; familiarity with library resources and performing lit searches
    • Research Practicum Students
      • GPA: 2.5 or higher
      • Classification: Sophomore or higher
      • Classwork: PSYC 202 or 204 required; PSYC 241 (Cognitive Psychology) preferred
      • Preferred skills: Experience with Microsoft Office (especially Excel and Word) and SPSS; familiarity with library resources and performing lit searches
    • Independent Study Students
      • GPA: 3.0 or higher
      • Classification: Junior or higher
      • Classwork: PSYC 202 204 requiredPSYC 241 (Cognitive Psychology) preferred
      • Preferred skills: Experience with Microsoft Office (especially Excel and Word) and SPSS strongly preferred; familiarity with library resources and performing lit searches; strong writing skills

    Recent Publications  

    • Mote, P., Neuschatz, J. S, Bornstein, B. H., Wetmore, S. A., & Key, K. N. (in press). Secondary confessions as post-identification feedback: How jailhouse informant testimony can alter eyewitness's identification decisions. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.  
    • Key, K. N., Neuschatz, J. S., Bornstein, B. H., Wetmore, S. A., Luecht, K. M., Dellapaolera, K. S., & Quinlivan, D. S. (2018). Beliefs about secondary confession evidence: a survey of laypeople and defense attorneys. Psychology, Crime and Law, 24, 1-13.  
    • Wetmore, S. A., Gronlund, S. D., Neuschatz, J. S., & McAdoo, R. (2017). The impact of fillers on lineup performance. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 2, 1-13.  
    • Key, K. N., Wetmore, S. A., Cash, D. K., Neuschatz, J. S., & Gronlund, S. D. (2017). The effects of post-ID feedback on retrospective self-reports in showups. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 32, 369-377.  
    • Mickes, L., Seale-Carlisle, T. M., Wetmore, S. A., Gronlund, S. D., Clark, S. E., Carlson, C. A., Goodsell, C. A., Weatherford, D., & Wixted, J. T. (2017). ROCs in eyewitness identification: Instructions versus confidence ratings. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 31, 467-477.  
    • Wixted, J. T., Mickes, L., Wetmore, S. A., Gronlund, S. D., & Neuschatz, J. S. (2017). ROC analysis in theory and practice. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 6, 343-351. 
    • Key, K. N., Wetmore, S. A., Neuschatz, J. S., Gronlund, S. D., Cash, D. K., & Lane, S. (2017). Line-up fairness affects postdictor validity and 'don't know' responses. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 31, 59-68.

    If you are interested in working with Dr. Wetmore, please contact her at wetmore@roanoke.edu