About us

We are researchers and students from the Applied Memory and Cognition Lab led by Dr Melissa Colloff and Professor Heather Flowe, at the University of Birmingham, Centre for Applied Psychology.


We are passionate about involving the public and children in our research about eyewitness memory.

We can learn from you, and you can learn from us!

Find out how you and your child can contribute and get involved with real psychology research.

There are prizes and rewards!

Our research

Around 1 in 10 children are victims of crime each year, with children from as young as 2 years old required to provide memory evidence in the form of police statements and court room testimony. In the legal system, memory reports from children are often deemed to be unreliable - a belief that often results in miscarriages of justice. Through conducting multiple behavioural experiments using testing conditions that are akin to real-life, we hope to answer a key unanswered question: “Are children reliable in the sense that they know when their memories are and are not likely to be accurate?”

What age do children develop a good confidence-accuracy relationship?

Key research questions

What factors influence child memory reliability?

We have run several successful interactive ‘eyewitness memory’ exhibits developed and delivered by University of Birmingham students at the fabulous Thinktank museum in Birmingham.

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In 2019, we won The University of Birmingham's Light of Understanding Award for Excellence in Public Engagement for our work.

Our exhibits have been funded by the University of Birmingham Alumni Fund and the Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing.

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What metacognitive cues predict confidence and accuracy in children of different ages?

What theory can account for memory reliability across development?

Output and public engagement

Watch Dr Melissa Colloff present at the 2021 vSARMAC conference

Publications

Winsor, A., Flowe, H. D., Seale-Carlisle, T. M., Killeen, I. M., Hett, D., Jores, T., *Ingham, M., Lee, B., Stevens, L., & Colloff, M. F(in press)Children’s expressions of certainty are informative. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. [Preprint].

Stevens, L. M., Rockey, J. C., Rockowitz, S., Kanja, W., Colloff, M. F., & Flowe, H. D. (2021). Children's Vulnerability to Sexual Violence During COVID-19 in Kenya: Recommendations for the Future. Frontiers in Global Women’s Health. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgwh.2021.630901