Kathy Pezdek

Click here to hear Dr. Pezdek talk about her research on faulty eyewitness testimony.

Kathy Pezdek is a cognitive psychologist specializing in the study of eyewitness memory. She frequently serves as an Expert Witness in the area of eyewitness identification and has testified on this topic in Federal, State and Superior Court cases. Her extensive research has focused on a range of topics related to Law and Psychology that apply to both adults and children. These topics include face memory, suggestibility of memory, lineup techniques, and detecting deception. Kathy Pezdek is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society, has served as Editor of Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Ways to Get in Touch

Email: Kathy.Pezdek@cgu.edu
Phone: (909) 621 - 8084
Fax: (909) 621 - 8905
Mailing address:
Department of Psychology
Claremont Graduate University
123 East 8th Street
Claremont, CA 91711-6175
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Teaching Interests

  • Memory and cognition
  • Cognitive development
  • Statistics
  • Applied cognitive psychology
  • Research design and methodology

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Research Interests

  • Memory and comprehension
  • Visual memory
  • Eyewitness memory
  • Suggestibility of memory
  • Autobiographical memory

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Department of Psychology
Claremont Graduate University
Claremont, California 91711

Email: Kathy.Pezdek@cgu.edu

(909) 621-8084

Dr. Pezdek's complete Vita

Professional Associations

Editorial Experience

Recent Publications:

  • Journal Articles
  • Books
  • Chapters

Grant Related Activity


  • Ph.D. Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1975
  • M.A. Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1972
  • B.S. Psychology, University of Virginia, Fredericksburg, 1971

Professional Associations

  • Association for Psychological Science, Elected APS Fellow, 1999
  • American Psychology - Law Society, APA Division 41
  • The Psychonomic Society
  • Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition (SARMAC)
    President, 2000-2006
    Elected Governing Board Member, 1994-present

Editorial Experience

North American Editor of Applied Cognitive Psychology (1995- 2000)
Member of the Editorial Board for:

  • Journal of Applied Psychology (2002 - 2009)
  • Journal of Applied Research in Memory & Cognition (2011 – present)
  • Legal and Criminological Psychology (2005 - present)
  • Applied Cognitive Psychology (1993 - 2011)
  • Child Development (1984‑1985), (1987‑1991)

Recent Publications

Also see Dr. Pezdek's complete Vita.

Selected Journal Articles

Ho, M. R., & Pezdek, K. (2015).  Post-encoding cognitive processes in the cross-race effect: Categorization and individuation during face recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Blandón-Gitlin, I., Pezdek, K., Saldivar, S., Steelman, E. (in press). Oxytocin eliminates the own-race bias in face recognition memory. Brain Research.

McGuire, M., & Pezdek, K. (2014). Birds of a feather get misidentified together: High entitativity decreases recognition accuracy for groups of other‐race faces. Legal and Criminological Psychology, doi:10.1111/lcrp.12066

Marsh, B. U., Pezdek, K., & Lam, S. T. (2014). Imagination perspective affects ratings of the likelihood of occurrence of autobiographical memories. Acta Psychologica, 20, 114-119. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2014.05.006

Pezdek, K., & Stolzenberg, S. (2014). Are individuals’ familiarity judgments diagnostic of prior contact? Psychology, Crime, & Law. 20(4), 302-314. doi: 10.1080/1068316X.2013772181

Pezdek, K., & O’Brien, M. (2014). Plea bargaining and appraisals of eyewitness evidence by prosecutors and defense attorneys. Psychology, Crime, & Law. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1068316X.2013.770855

Fenn, E., Newman, E.J., Pezdek, K., & Garry, M. (2013). The effect of nonprobative photographs on truthiness persists over time. Acta Psychologica, 144, 207-211. doi://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2013.06.004

Stolzenberg, S., & Pezdek, K. (2012). Interviewing child witnesses: The effect of forced confabulation on event memory. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 114(1), 77-88. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2012.09.006

Pezdek, K., O'Brien, M., & Wasson, C. (2011). Cross-race (but not same-race) face identification is impaired by presenting faces in a group rather than individually. Law and Human Behavior, 36(6), 488-495. doi: 10.1037/h0093933

Gombos, V., Pezdek, K., & Haymond, K. (2011). Forced confabulation affects memory sensitivity as well as response bias. Memory & Cognition, 40(1), 127-134. Doi: 10.3758/s13421-011-0129-5.

Pezdek, K. & Salim, R. (2011). Physiological, psychological and behavioral consequences of activating autobiographical memories. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 46(6), 1214-1218. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.05.004

Pezdek, K., Avila-Mora, E., & Sperry, K. (2010). Does trial presentation medium matter in jury simulation research? Evaluating the effectiveness of eyewitness expert testimony. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24(5), 673-690. doi:10.1002/acp.1578

Pezdek, K., & Freyd, J. J. (2009). The fallacy of generalizing from egg salad in false belief research. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 9(1), 177-183. doi:10.1111/j.1530-2415.2009.01178.x

Pezdek, K. (2009). Grading student papers: Reducing faculty workload while improving feedback to students. APS Observer 22 (9).

Pezdek, K., Lam, S. T., & Sperry, K. (2009). Forced confabulation more strongly influences event memory if suggestions are other-generated than self-generated. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 14, 241-252.

Kleider, H.M., Pezdek, K., Goldinger, S.D., & Kirk, A. (2008). Schema-driven source misattribution errors: Remembering the expected from a witnessed event. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22, 1-20.

Blandón-Gitlin, I., Pezdek, K., Lindsay, S.D., & Hagan, L. (2008). Criteria-based content analysis of true and suggested accounts of events. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 23, 901-917.

Pezdek, K. & Blandon-Gitlin, I., (2008). Planting false memories for childhood sexual abuse only happens to emotionally disturbed people… not me or my friends. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 23, 162-169.

Goodman, G.S., Sayfan, L., Lee, J.S., Sandhei, M., Walle-Olsen, A., Magnussen, S., Pezdek, K., & Arrdeondo, P. (2007). The development of memory for own- and other-race faces. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 98, 233-242.

Pezdek, K., Sperry, K., & Owens, S.M., (2007). Interviewing witnesses: The effect of forced confabulation on event memoryLaw and Human Behavior 31, 463–478.

Pezdek, K. (2007). It's just not good science. Consciousness & Cognition, 16, 29-30.

Pezdek, K. & Lam, S. (2007). What research paradigms have cognitive psychologists used to study "false memory," and what are the implications of these choices? Consciousness & Cognition, 16, 2-17.

Pezdek, K., Blandon-Gitlin, I., Lam, S., Hart, R.E. & Schooler, J. (2006). Is knowing believing?: The role of event plausibility and background knowledge in planting false beliefs about the personal pastMemory & Cognition. Vol 34, 1628-1635.

Pezdek, K., Blandon-Gitlin, I. & Gabbay, P. (2006).  Imagination and memory: Does imagining implausible events lead to false autobiographical memories? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 13 (5), 764-769.

Pezdek, K. & Blandon-Gitlin, I. (2005). When is an intervening lineup most likely to affect eyewitness identification accuracy?  Legal and Criminological Psychology Vol 10, 247-263.

Blandon-Gitlin, I., Pezdek, K, Rogers, M. & Brodie, L. (2005). Detecting deception in children: An experimental study of the effect of event familiarity on CBCA ratings, Law & Human Behavior, 29, 187-197.

Freyd, J.J., Putnam, F.W., Lyon, T.D., Becher-Blease, K.A., Cheit, R.E., Siegel, N.B. & Pezdek, K. (2005).  The science of child sexual abuseScience, 308, 501.

Pezdek, K., et al. (2004). Detecting deception in children: Event familiarity affects criterion based content analysis ratingsJournal of Applied Psychology, 89, 119-126.

Pezdek, K. (2003). Event memory and autobiographical memory for the events of September 11, 2001Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17, 1033-1045.

Pezdek. K., Blandon-Gitlin, I., & Moore, C.  (2003). Children’s face recognition memory: More evidence for the cross-race effect Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 760-763.

Pezdek, K., Berry, T., & Renno, P.A. (2002).  Children’s mathematical achievement: The role of parents’ perceptions and their involvement in homeworkJournal of Educational Psychology, 94, 771-777.

Pezdek, K. (2002). Teaching psychology in the context of a university-community partnershipTeaching of Psychology, 29, 157-159.

Pezdek, K., & Eddy, R. M. (2001). Imagination inflation: A statistical artifact of regression toward the mean. Memory and Cognition, 29, 707-718.

Hinz, T & Pezdek, K. (2001). The effect of exposure to multiple lineups on face identification accuracy. Law and Human Behavior, 25, 185-198.

Pezdek, K. (2001). A cognitive analysis of the recovered memory/false memory debate. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 4 (2).  [Reprinted in J. J. Freyd & A. P. DePrince (Eds.).  Trauma and Cognitive Science.  Haworth Press: San Diego, CA.]

Finger, K. & Pezdek, K. (1999). The effect of the cognitive interview on face identification accuracy: Release from verbal overshadowing. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 340-348.

Pezdek, K., & Hodge, D. (1999). Planting false childhood memories in children: The role of event plausibility. Child Development, 70, 887-895.

Underwood, J., & Pezdek, K. (1998).  Memory suggestibility as an example of the sleeper effectPsychonomic Bulletin & Review, 5, 449-453.

Arrigo, J. M., & Pezdek, K. (1997).  Lessons from the study of psychogenic amnesia Current Directions in Psychological Science, 6, 148-152.

Pezdek, K., Finger, K., & Hodge, D.  (1997).  Planting false childhood memories: The role of event plausibilityPsychological Science, 8, 437-441.

Pezdek, K., & Roe, C. (1997).  The suggestibility of children's memory for being touched: Planting, erasing, and changing memoriesLaw and Human Behavior, 21, 95-106.

Pezdek, K., & Roe, C. (1995).  The effect of memory trace strength on suggestibilityJournal of Experimental Child Psychology, 60, 116-128.

Pezdek, K., & Roe, C. (1994).  Memory for childhood events: How suggestible is it?  Consciousness and Cognition, 3, 374-387.

Pezdek, K. (1994).  Avoiding false claims of child sexual abuse: Empty promisesFamily Relations, 43, 258-260.

Pezdek, K., & Prull, M. (1993).  Fallacies in memory for conversations: Reflections on Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill, and the like Applied Cognitive Psychology, 7, 299-310.

Pezdek, K., & Greene, J. (1993).  Testing eyewitness memory: Developing a measure that is more resistant to suggestibilityLaw and Human Behavior, 17, 361-369.

Holst, V. F., & Pezdek, K. (1992).  Scripts for typical crimes and their effects on memory for eyewitness testimonyApplied Cognitive Psychology, 6, 573-587.

Reynolds, J. K., & Pezdek, K. (1992).  Face recognition memory: The effects of exposure duration and encoding instructionsApplied Cognitive Psychology, 6, 279-292.

Pezdek, K. et al. (1989).  Memory for real world scenes: The role of consistency with schema expectation Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 15, 587-595.

Pezdek, K. et al. (1988).  Picture memory: Recognizing added and deleted detailsJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 14, 468-476.

Pezdek, K., Simon, S., Stoeckert, J., & Kieley, J. (1987). Individual differences in television comprehension. Memory & Cognition, 15, 428 435.

Pezdek, K. (1987). Memory for pictures: A life span study of the role of visual detail. Child Development, 58, 807 815.

Pezdek, K., Roman, Z., & Sobolik, K. G. (1986). Spatial memory for objects and words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 12, 530 537.

Pezdek, K. (1985). Debunking some myths regarding cognitive processing of television. Television and Children, 8(4), 41-46.

Pezdek, K., Lehrer, A., & Simon, S. (1984). The relationship between reading and cognitive processing of television and radio. Child Development, 55, 2072 2082.

Runco, M. A., & Pezdek, K. (1984). The effect of television and radio on children's creativity. Human Communication Research, 11, 109 120.

Pezdek, K., & Stevens, E. (1984). Children's memory for auditory and visual information on television. Developmental Psychology, 20, 212 218.

Pezdek, K., & Hartman, E. F. (1983). Children's television viewing: Attention and comprehension of auditory versus visual information. Child Development, 54, 1015 1023.

Pezdek, K. (1983). Memory for items and their spatial locations by young and elderly adults. Developmental Psychology, 19, 895 900.

Evans, G. W., Smith, C., & Pezdek, K. (1982). Cognitive maps and urban form. Journal of the American Planning Association, 48, 232 244.

Pezdek, K., & Chen, H C. (1982). Developmental differences in the role of detail in picture recognition memory. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 33, 207 215.

Pezdek, K., & Miceli, L. (1982). Life span differences in memory integration as a function of processing time. Developmental Psychology, 18, 485 490.

Pezdek, K. (1980). Life span differences in semantic integration of pictures and sentences in memory. Child Development, 51, 720 729.

Evans, G. W., & Pezdek, K. (1980). Cognitive mapping: Knowledge of real world distance and location information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 6, 13 24.

Pezdek, K., & Evans, G. W. (1979). Visual and verbal memory for objects and their spatial locations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 5, 360 373.

Pezdek, K. (1978). Recognition memory for related pictures. Memory & Cognition, 6, 64 69.

Pezdek, K. (1977). Cross modality semantic integration of sentence and picture memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 3, 515 524.

Pezdek, K., & Royer, J. M. (l974). The role of comprehension in learning concrete and abstract sentences. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 13, 551 558.

Myers, J. L., Pezdek, K., & Coulson, D. (1973). Effects of prose organization upon free recall. Journal of Educational Psychology, 65, 313 320.


Costanzo, M., Krauss, D., & Pezdek, K. (Eds.) (2007). Expert psychological testimony for the courts. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Donaldson, S., Berger, D. & Pezdek, K. (Eds.). (2006). Applied psychology: New frontiers and rewarding careers. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Pezdek, K., & Banks, W.P. (Eds.). (1996). The recovered memory/false memory debate. San Diego: Academic Press.

Berger, D., Pezdek, K., & Banks, W. P. (Eds.) (1987). Applications of cognitive psychology: Problem solving, education and computing. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


DePrince, A. et al. (2012). Motivated forgetting and misremembering: Perspectives from betrayal trauma theory. In Nebraska Symposium for Motivation: Motivated remembering and misremembering: A reappraisal of the False/Recovered Memory Debate.

Pezdek, K. (2011). Fallible eyewitness memory and identification. In B. Cutler (Ed.), Conviction of the Innocent: Lessons from Psychological Research. Washington, DC: APA Press.

Davies, G. & Pezdek, K. (2010). Children as Witnesses. In G. Towl, & D. Crighton, (Eds.) Textbook on forensic psychology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Pezdek, K. (2009). Content, form and ethical issues concerning expert psychological testimony on eyewitness identification. In B. L. Cutler (Ed.), Expert testimony on the psychology of eyewitness identification (pp. 29-50). New York: Oxford University Press.

Blandon-Gitlin, I., & Pezdek, K. (2009). Children’s memory in forensic contexts: Suggestibility, false memory, and individual differences. In B. L. Bottoms, Najdowski, C.J., &  Goodman, G.S. (Eds.), Children as victims, witnesses, and offenders: Psychological science and the law (pp. 57-80). New York: Guildford Press.

Pezdek, K. (2008). Forced confabulation. In B. L. Cutler (Ed.) Encyclopedia of psychology and law (pp. 324-325), Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Pezdek, K. (2008). Post-Event information. In B. L. Cutler (Ed.) Encyclopedia of psychology and law (pp. 607-609), Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Pezdek, K. & Freyd, J.J. (June, 2008). False Memory. In Edleson, J. & Renzetti, C. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Violence, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Pezdek, K. (2007). Expert testimony on eyewitness memory and identification. In M. Costanzo, D. Krauss, & K. Pezdek (Eds.), Expert psychological testimony for the courts. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Pezdek, K.,  Deffenbacher, K. A., Lam, S., & Hoffman, R. R. (2006). Cognitive psychology: Applications and careers.  In S. Donaldson, D. Berger, & K. Pezdek (Eds.), Applied psychology: New frontiers and rewarding careers. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Pezdek, K. (2006).  Memory for the events of September 11, 2001.  In Nilsson, L. G. and Ohta, N. (Eds.), Memory & society: Psychological perspectives. New York: Routledge and Psychology Press.

Pezdek, K., & Hinz, T. (2002). The construction of false events in memory. In H. Westcott, G. Davies & R. Bull (Eds.), Children’s testimony: A handbook of psychological research and forensic practice. London: Wiley.
Pezdek, K., & Taylor, J. (2002). Memory for traumatic events. In M. L. Eisen, G. S. Goodman, & J. A. Quas (Eds.), Memory and suggestibility in the forensic interview.  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates.
Pezdek, K., & Taylor, J. (1999). Discriminating between accounts of true and false events. In D. F. Bjorklund (Ed.), Research and theory in false-memory creation in children and adults.  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates.

Grant-Related Activity

National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (2010-2012). "How Accurately Do Eyewitnesses Determine if a Person is Familiar and How Does this Affect Plea Bargaining Decisions by Prosecuation and Defense Attorneys?" $225,310.

Fletcher Jones Foundation (20079-2010). "How Accurately Can Eyewitnesses Determine if a Person is Familiar?" $6,650.

BLAIS Challenge Fund (2009-2010). "Promoting Cross-Campus Research in Applied Cognitive Science." $9,000.

Fletcher Jones Foundation (2008-2009). "More Methodological Considerations in Evaluating the Effectiveness of Eyewitness Expert Testimony." $7,975.

Fletcher Jones Foundation (2007-2008). “Methodological Considerations in Evaluating the Effectiveness of Eyewitness Expert Testimony,” $7,975.

Fletcher Jones Foundation (2006-2007). “Forced Confabulation: Does Post Event Guessing during Police Interrogation Suggestively Influence Eyewitness Memory?” $6,000.

Fletcher Jones Foundation (2003 – 2004). “Improving Jurors’ Ability to Evaluate the Reliability of Eyewitness Evidence,” $7,225.

National Science Foundation, Law & Social Sciences Program (2001 – 2004). “Discriminating Between Children’s Accounts of True and False Events,” $229,807.

National Science Foundation, Law & Social Sciences Program (2000-2003). “The Suggestive Influence of Viewing an Intervening Lineup on Eyewitness Memory Accuracy,” $180,000.

Fletcher Jones Foundation (2002),"Eyewitness Memory for the Events of September 11," $5,000.

Haynes Foundation (2000). "Discriminating between Children’s Accounts of True and False Events," $10,000.

Haynes Foundation (2000), "Discriminating between Children’s Accounts of True and False Events,"  $10,000.

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