Nadja Schreiber Compo
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, FIU; Co-Director, Legal Psychology Graduate Program
Dr. Schreiber Compo is an Associate Professor at Florida International University (FIU) and the Co-Director of their Legal Psychology Ph.D. program. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Muenster, Germany and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship by the German Academic Exchange Service to continue her research at FIU in Miami. Her research focuses on investigative interviewing and witness memory especially of vulnerable witnesses such as children or the intoxicated. She is focusing on potentially detrimental and beneficial interviewing techniques and their underlying cognitive and social mechanisms to improve the quality and quantity of witness and victim recall. She is further examining real-world interviewers’ perceptions, experiences, and behaviors and confirmatory bias in a variety of settings including witness and victim interviewing and forensic expertise. Dr. Schreiber Compo has worked with several law enforcement agencies on research and investigative interviewing training and has consulted in various legal cases. She has been an invited speaker on numerous occasions including the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Forensic Research Institute, the Miami-Dade Forensic Services Bureau, the Dade-County and Allegheny County Public Defender’s Office, the Texas Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, Research Unit for Criminal, Legal and Investigative Psychology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Wofford College and Florida Atlantic University. She has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles, has (co) authored over 70 presentations at national and international conferences, is an Associate Editor for the journal ‘Applied Cognitive Psychology’, and on the editorial board of the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy and the Law. Her lab’s research has been funded by NIJ, NSF and the Swedish Research Council.
CARFS Funded Projects
- Examining the potential for confirmation bias in the technical review process: Although forensic science plays a critical role in criminal investigations, recent analyses of DNA exonerations reveal that errors in forensic science are a contributing factor to wrongful convictions and “cognitive bias” as an underlying cause of such errors in forensic judgment (NAS, 2009). Cognitive bias is a group of systematic errors when processing and interpreting information. A person’s prior beliefs, motives, and situational context can influence how forensic evidence (e.g., fingerprint) is perceived and interpreted (Kassin et al., 2013). As all forensic science examinations involve some human processing and interpretation, understanding how human processing can influence forensic examination is critical to strong forensic evidence. Previous research on bias in fingerprint analysis has focused on a single examiner’s decision, largely ignoring the technical review step, which requires verification of a prior examiner’s decision by a second examiner (SWGFAST, 2013). Only a few controlled lab studies have examined this verification step using untrained (i.e., student) examiners but have used stimuli beyond students’ level of training (e.g., fingerprints; e.g., Kukucka & Kassin, 2016), limiting the generalizability of findings to real-world contexts. As a collaboration between the Miami-Dade Forensic Services Bureau (MDPD-FSB) and a research team of applied cognitive psychologists, the present study addresses these limitations by evaluating the potential for confirmatory bias in the verification stage of forensic examination using real-world stimuli appropriate for novice evaluators. This will allow the researchers to examine confirmatory bias in the verification process using both student and real-world participants in a controlled lab setting.