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Margaret Bull Kovera
Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Phone: 212.484.1112
Office Hours: By appointment
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota
Research Interests: Social influences on legal decision making, eyewitness identification reliability, scientific evidence
Dr. Margaret Bull Kovera is an internationally recognized expert on eyewitness identification and legal decision making. For over twenty-five years, she has had continuous funding (over $2.2 million) from the National Science Foundation for her research on eyewitness identification, jury decision-making, and scientific evidence.  Her research on these topics has been published in Law and Human Behavior, Journal of Applied Psychology, Applied Cognitive Psychology, and Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. Her book, The psychology of juries (published by the American Psychological Association), received the American Psychology-Law Society Book Award.
She is a Past-President of the American Psychology-Law Society and former Editor-in-Chief of Law and Human Behavior, the premier outlet for scholarship in psychology and law. She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychology-Law Society (APLS), the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). She is the recipient of the Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Achievement in Psychology and Law (APLS and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology), the Outstanding Teacher and Mentor in Psychology and Law Award (APLS), Distinguished Teaching Award (John Jay College), and the Distinguished Service Award (SPSSI). She regularly serves as a consultant on change of venue motions and as an expert witness in cases involving eyewitness identification.


  • American Psychology-Law Society Book Award for The Psychology of Juries
  • Distinguished Service Award, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
  • John Jay College Faculty Scholarly Excellence Award
  • Distinguished Teaching Prize, John Jay College
  • American Psychology-Law Society  Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring
  • Saleem Shah Early Career Award for Excellence and Achievement in Psychology and Law
  • American Psychology-Law Society Dissertation Award, First Place
Professional Affiliations and Memberships
  • Fellow, American Psychological Association
  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science (2009)
  • Fellow, American Psychology Law Society
  • Fellow, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
  • Fellow, Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  • Society for Research on Applied Memory and Cognition
  • European Association for Psychology and Law
  • Association for the Advancement of Science
Courses Taught
  • Research Methods and Design I
  • Research Methods and Design II
  • Psychology of Juries
  • Attitudes and Persuasion
  • Kovera, M. B., & Evelo, A. J. (2021). Eyewitness identification in its social context. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.
  • Perillo, J. T., Perillo, A., Despodova, N. & Kovera, M. B.  (2021). Testing the waters? An investigation of the impact of hot tubbing from referral through testimony. Law and Human Behavior.
  • Kovera, M. B., & Evelo, A. J. (2020). Improving eyewitness identification evidence through double-blind lineup administration. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 29(6), 563–568.
  • Wells, G. L., Kovera, M. B., Douglass, A. B., Brewer, N., Meissner, C. A., & Wixted, J. (2020).  Policy and procedure recommendations for the collection and preservation of eyewitness identification evidence. Law and Human Behavior, 44(1), 3–36.
  • Kovera, M. B. (2019). Racial disparities in the criminal justice system: Prevalence, causes, and a search for solutions. Journal of Social Issues, 75, 1139–1164.
  • Chorn, J. A., & Kovera, M. B. (2019). Variations in reliability and validity do not influence judge, attorney, and mock juror decisions about psychological expert evidence. Law and Human Behavior, 43, 542–557.