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Our interdisciplinary approach to policing research enables us to create collaborative relationships with other universities, the police service and the private sector. As a result, our research is having an impact on UK policing and the criminal justice system.

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Impact Prize for forensic doctoral researcher

Danni Norman has been awarded the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine PhD Thesis Impact Prize for her thesis entitled "Factors Modulating Memory-based Deception Detection in Concealed Information Tests".

Danni's thesis was co-supervised by Professor Derrick Watson (Psychology), Dr Kim Wade (Psychology) and Professor Mark Williams (WMG).

Her PhD thesis examined a wide range of factors related to the Concealed Information Test, which is a well-validated paradigm that uses indirect measures such as physiological measures or Reaction Times to assess recognition memory for crime details.

For example, in one of her experiments she had participants deny knowledge about a staged crime that they had committed on campus. She found that presenting details of the crime (such as the crime scene) in virtual reality led to excellent detection rates of guilty suspects compared to the standard approach.

Professor Derrick Watson commented: “Given the sustained interest from various groups, real-world impact looks extremely likely."


Danni Norman

The Judging Panel also believes that the studies reported in Danni’s thesis represent a substantial and original contribution to the literature and that the impact of the resulting papers in certainly likely to be substantial.

Danni is a member of the Centre for Operational Police Research and has recently started a full-time position working with Professor Mark Williams, WMG, where she will continue to support ongoing forensic work for West Midlands Police.

Fri 26 Jun 2020, 09:45