Course Syllabus

Forensic Psychology Lab

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Semester & Location:

Spring 2024 - DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Elective course

Major Disciplines:

Psychology, Criminology/Criminal justice, Sociology


One psychology course at university level.

Faculty Members:

Meiling Liu, PhD  (current students please use the Canvas Inbox)

Program Contact:

Department email address

Lab Manager

Monica Siqueiros-Sanchez, PhD (current students please use the Canvas Inbox)

Academic Support: 

Time & Place:

Class Time: Tuesdays 8:30-11:25

Room: E510

Lab Time: Fridays 8:30-11:25

Room: Lab E511

(See scheduled classes in the calendar)

Description of Course

Prerequisites: A course in psychology at university level.

Corequisites: Enrollment in Forensic Psychology Core Class

The objective of the forensic lab course is to provide students with research experience in the field of forensic psychology. This lab will explore a range of selected topics, such as deception detection in cross-cultural contexts, lying behavior in social media, and eyewitness testimonies. To understand research design, we will assess the use of online surveys, eye tracking, interviews, transcriptions, and other research methods. 

The laboratory course is designed to correspond with major lecture topics in Forensic Psychology (core course). Students are required to be concurrently enrolled in Forensic Psychology. The lab will emphasize research implementation. The laboratory course is composed of both lectures and supervision work. The lecture portion of the course establishes a foundation for understanding methodology onto which research design is built. The supervision portion of the course provides an opportunity to learn through a “hands-on” approach by implementing the studies.

The course will help students develop proficiency with implementing research studies, using statistical software, writing reports, and establishing familiarity with experimental techniques unique to forensic psychology. Students will gain experience in creating, interpreting, and communicating about empirical psychological research designs.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Conduct a literature review on a selected research topic, create a research question from this
  • Design a small-scale experimental study/survey, and/or formulate questionnaires to explore the research question
  • Discuss and critically analyze the methodology employed in the research design
  • Implement an experimental study setting up the experimental paradigm, experimental preparation, and data collection
  • Choose the proper statistical framework for the analysis of an experimental study and conduct the analysis
  • Discuss and critically reflect on findings with regard to the literature
  • Communicate research by presenting in class, creating a poster for the showcase, and/or writing articles
  • Understand and discuss the ethical considerations and implications at stake within the research field of forensic psychology
  • Practice creating conference submissions


Meiling Liu

Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology (China University of Political Science and Law, 2010). Post Doctorate in Forensic Psychology (Gothenburg University, 2012). Dr. Liu has worked as an organizational consultant in areas of leadership and cross-cultural competence training in Sweden. Previously, Dr. Liu worked as a teacher and researcher at universities in China, and was promoted to the position of associate professor in China. Dr. Liu has been with DIS since 2016.

Monica Siqueiros-Sanchez  

Ph.D. in Medical Science (Karolinska Institutet, 2020). Post doctorate in Neuropsychiatry ( Stanford University, 2023). Dr. Siqueiros-Sanchez research focuses on better understanding the cognitive and biological mechanisms underpinning syndromic and non-syndromic neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her research has used a combination of methodologies including eye tracking, neuroimaging, psychological assessments, and twin modelling. Her interests include socio-communicative skills, attention, neurogenetic syndromes, neurodevelopmental disorders, and white matter. In addition to research, Dr. Siqueiros-Sanchez is a clinical psychologist. With DIS since 2023.


1. Required Textbook :

  • Creswell, J, W., & Creswell, J.D. (2018). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed Methods. Fifth Edition, SAGE Publications.
  • Field, A. (2017). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics, 5th edition, SAGE Publications (available in DIS lab)

2. Required Readings on Your own Selection

Students will select 200 pages of additional literature to be read during the course (literature list will have to be approved by course instructor, See Course Schedule for due date).

3. Additional Articles and Other Media on Canvas:

Millen, A, E., Hope, L., Hillstrom, A. P., & Aldert, V. (2017). Tracking the truth: the effect of face familiarity on eye fixations during deception, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70 (5), 930-943.

Millen, A.E., Hancock, P.J.B. (2019). Eye see through you! Eye tracking unmasks concealed face recognition despite countermeasures. Cognitive Research: Principle and Implication, 4 (23), doi:10.1186/s41235-019-0169-0.

Josephson, S., & Holmes, E, M. (2011) Selecting the suspect: an eye-tracking comparison of viewing of same-race vs. cross-race photographs in eyewitness identification, Visual Communication Quarterly,18(4), 236-249, DOI:10.1080/15551393.2011.627280.

Sagana, A., Sauerland, M., & Merckelbach, H. (2014). ‘This is the person you selected’: eyewitnesses’ blindness for their own facial recognition decisions. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28, 753-764.

Bhatt, S., Mbwana, J., Adeyemo, A., Sawyer, A., Hailu, A., & Vanmeter, J. (2009). Lying about facial recognition: an fMRI study. Brain and Cognition, 69(2), 382–390.

Attard, J., & Bindemanne, M. (2014). Establishing the duration of crimes: an individual differences and eye-tracking investigation into time estimation, Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28, 215-225.

Bindemann, M., Brown, C., Koyas, T., & Russ, A. (2012). Individual differences in face identification postdict eyewitness accuracy. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 1, 96–103. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.02.001.

Schwedes, C., & Wentura, D. (2016). Through the eyes to memory: Fixation durations as an early indirect index of concealed knowledge, Memory & Cognition, 44(8), 1244-1258.

Zimbler, M., & Feldman, R, S. (2011). Liar, Liar, Hard Drive on Fire: How Media Context Affects Lying Behavior, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41 (10), 2492-2507.

Guadagno, R, E., Okdie, B, M., & Kruse, S, A. (2012). Dating deception: Gender, online dating, and exaggerated self-presentation, Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 642-647.

Marett, k., George, J. f., Lewis, C. C., Gupta, M., & Giordano, G. (2017). Beware the dark side: Cultural preferences for lying online. (2017). Computers in Human Behavior, 75, 834-844.

Van Swol, L., Malhotra, D., & Braun, M. (2012). Deception and its Detection: Effects of monetary incentives and personal relationship history. Communication Research, 39(2), 217-238.

Bessarabova, E. (2014). The effects of culture and situational features on in-group favoritism manifested as deception. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 39 , 9-21.

Choi, H. J., Park, H. S., & Oh, J. Y. (2011). Cultural differences in how individuals explain their lying and truth-telling tendencies. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35, 749-766.

DeAndrea, D., Tong, S. T., Liang, Y. J., Levine, T., & Walther, J. (2012). When do people misrepresent themselves to Others? The effects of social desirability, ground truth, and Accountability on deceptive self-presentations. Journal of Communication, 62(3), 400-417.

Furner, C., & George, J. F. (2012). Cultural determinants of media choice for deception. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(4), 1427-1438.

Lewis, C., & George, J. F. (2008). Cross-cultural deception in social networking sites and face-to-face communication. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(6), 2945-2964.

Levine, T. R. (2014). Truth-default theory (TDT): A theory of human deception and deception detection. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 33(4), 378-392.

Hamilton, N., & Kirwan, G. (2013). A cross-cultural comparison of deception in online dating profiles using language analysis. In A. Power, & G. Kirwan (Eds.), Cyberpsychology and new media: A thematic reader (pp. 49-59). Psychology Press.

Landström, S., Strömwall,L. A., & Alfredsson, H. (2016). Blame attributions in sexual crimes: Effects of belief in a just world and victim behavior, Nordic Psychology, 68 (1), 2-11.

Castillo, P.A., Mallard, D. (2012). Preventing cross-cultural bias in deception judgments: the role of expectancies about nonverbal behavior. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 43 (6), 967-978.

Taylor, P.J., Larner, S., Conchie, S.M., & van Der Zee, S. (2015). Cross-cultural deception detection. In P.A. Granhag, A. Vrij, & B. Vershuere (Eds.), Deception detection: Current Challenges and Cognitive Approaches (pp. 175-202). Chichester: Wiley.

Field Studies

1.  Meeting with Swedish expert on European Equality Law Network

Paul Lappalaineafe is a Swedish Expert for European Network of Experts in Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination, a board member for Local Unesco Collaboration Sweden, and for the International Commission of Jurists. He was Sweden's Deputy Member for the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). Paul has also been an advisor to UNESCO's European Coalition of Cities Against Racism and a senior advisor to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman. He is currently working on a PhD thesis - Achieving Equality in Sweden and the Key Roles of Access to Justice and Civil Society: A Comparative Analysis

2.  Visiting Police Station

Dr. Shilan Caman has worked in forensic psychiatry for many years, and now works at the Swedish Police Agency. Currently she is involved in different research projects linked to particularly vulnerable crime victims. You will learn one of her research projects- typologies of general lethal violence against women. 

Guest Lecturers 


María de la Paz Celorio, holds a Ph. D. in Plant Biology from the University of California, Davis, with more than 15 years of research experience and counting. She has worked as postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology (Jena, Germany) and at Stockholm University,  has taught courses and led practical laboratories on biotechnology, statistics and population genetics for American and Swedish students. 

Approach to Teaching

I strive to create an interactive learning environment, in which you are expected to play an active and participatory role. You will do this by getting involved in discussions, asking questions and completing tasks/assignments. You will be the center of the learning process, which means that you are an explorer of research questions and its’ related applications in a psycho-legal context. The goal is for you to develop your skills of conducting and communicating research studies in the field of forensic psychology.

My role as teacher is to help you strengthen the experience of linking research questions and methodology, understand ethics in research and conduct data analyses. A variety of teaching methods will be used, including short lectures, discussions, interactive classroom activities, equipment and software practice.

My role as a supervisor will be focused on laboratory exercises. The goal is to stimulate you to think, explore and be productive. Furthermore, you will familiarize yourself with cutting-edge research. I will also teach you how to formulate and design research studies.

Collaboration is highly valued in this course, and you are expected to work both individually and in groups. Respect for other’s opinions and experience is a necessary requirement for this class.

Expectations of the Students

The success of this course is hinged on not only my ability to communicate ideas and concepts, but our ability to create an environment conducive to learning. You are expected to treat each other with respect, and be tolerant to different opinions. Any kind of biases and prejudices are not acceptable in this course.

In class we will use a lecture-discussion format, and in lab we will use a practice-reflection format, meaning that failure to adequately prepare for class will prevent effective participation. I expect you to have done the reading for each class and to come with notes and questions for me and for the other students. This will give us material to generate conversation.

Please note the following rules:

  1. Additional lab hours during the period of data collection are expected from students.
  2. Hand in assignments on time.
  3. Complete all readings prior to class.
  4. This course will rely heavily on the Canvas system, and you will be responsible for checking updated information on Canvas.
  5. Be punctual and attend all classes; missing classes without a legitimate excuse will result in a lower final grade.
  6. We cannot guarantee any makeup labs.
  7. Cell Phones, Laptop, and Related technology: Please bring a notebook and pen to class for taking notes, and only use laptops when instructed for specific activities. Please switch your cell phone off and resist the urge to text.


A number of diverse tasks will be given throughout the semester to address learning objectives. Emphasis will be on engaged participation, and may include individual and/or group based written/oral tasks. Projects may be given that will explore topics experientially.

To be eligible for a passing grade in this class you must complete all of the assigned work.


 Methods of Evaluation

How is it evaluated?

(Individual or group)



 Engaged Participation

 Individual Ongoing


 Outline of Research Project Plan


Feb. 13


 iMotions Test

 Individual  Feb. 16


 Data collection


Apr. 4



 Individual Apr. 25 20%

 In-Class Presentation

 Group Apr. 30 15%





Engaged Participation (20%):

Since class and laboratory participation are major components of the course, you will need to be present and actively participating to receive full credit. Class participation means you:

  • critically evaluate research designs and hypotheses
  • take initiative in planning experimental and/or survey material
  • show understanding of the readings – with the ability to verbalize your own considerations/conclusions
  • run data collection in a timely manner in order to complete the research project
  • discuss implications in regards to practical application and/or future research considerations
  • contribute to class activities

Outline of Research Project Plan (10%)

The group will produce a short but clear delineation of the topic for their research project within a range of selected topics in this lab course. The outline of project plan will state which methods will be applied, why each method was chosen, and how it will contribute to the project as a whole. Additionally, it will include an outline of how the data driven research process will allow the team to work towards a paper abstract containing a motivated hypothesis.

iMotions Test (20%)

The iMotions test will require you to demonstrate your skills, capabilities and knowledge in iMotions program individually. 

Data collection (15%)

Part 1: The group will complete any relevant material that are related the research process, i.e. consent form, drafts for questionnaires, pictures & video clips chosen, post-questionnaires, experimental procedure etc.

Part 2: Completion and success of the research studies lie heavily on data collection, meaning that each group member needs to take initiative to design and post experiment flyers, to work with participants, and to process the data. If it is needed, students are required to work with participants in the DIS laboratory for data collection out of scheduled class time. Data collection grade is assessed by working hours and contributions.

Each group member will clearly report working hours on the lab journal and delineate their own contribution to the whole for individual grade.

Manuscript (20%)

Using the lay out and content of an academic publication the paper will – in brief - present the applied methods and their application, but mainly focus on the initial research question and the data that relates to the motived hypothesis. It will present findings and offer critical discussion and reflection on the actual findings. 

In-class Presentation (15%)

All groups are required to create a 15 minutes presentation in order to communicate your study in class. You will be expected to participate in class presentations both as a presenter and questioner.

Showcase (0%)

This is an optional assignment. DIS showcase provides you with an opportunity to share your research with faculty and other students. You may present a poster at the DIS Showcase, highlighting specifically interesting findings, key quotes and research design considerations and answer questions from the audience.

To be eligible for a passing grade in this class all of the assigned work must be completed.

In addition to the academic content of the written assignments(s), focus will also be placed on the structure, use of appropriate academic language, and writing skills.

Detailed assignment descriptions and/or rubrics will be made available on Assignments on Canvas and/or in class. 

Policy on late papers

There will be a grade deduction for late submission. See rubrics.

Use of laptops or phones in class

Laptops/Tablets/iPads are not allowed to be open in the classroom unless agreed upon for specified tasks such as article reading and/or for discussion purposes and/or note-taking. Cellular phones must be switched off during class.

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on: 

 DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due