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Jason J. Dickinson, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology. He is the former acting Chair of the Department of Social Work and Child Advocacy, and the former Director of the Robert D. McCormick Center for Child Advocacy and Policy. As Director of the McCormick Center, he oversaw the formation of the Department of Social Work and Child Advocacy (2017) and the development of the Masters of Social Work program (2018). He has also served as a principal investigator on a number of direct service and workforce training grants from New Jersey's Department of Children and Families.
His research on children’s eyewitness testimony (understanding how children remember, misremember, forget, and tell about events they’ve experienced) identifies strategies for questioning children in forensic contexts to increase the accuracy of legal decision-making in cases involving children. He frequently consults with defense attorneys, prosecutors, law enforcement, and the child protection community to help translate research findings into public policy, inform investigative practices, and evaluate the reliability of children's testimony.
He co-directs the Talking Lab (thetalkinglab.com) with Dr. Nicole Lytle. The lab's work (in collaboration with Dr. Debra Poole of Central Michigan University) has been supported by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Their most recent award will develop recommendations for interviewing fresh complaint witnesses to improve the reliability of hearsay testimony in child maltreatment investigations. In addition, the lab’s ongoing NSF supported research on tele-forensic interviewing has been instrumental in shaping policy and training initiatives for safely conducting forensic interviews with children during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Dickinson teaches introduction to psychology, forensic psychology, and statistics for psychology majors.