Jeff Kukucka, Ph.D.

he/him/his

Associate Professor

Jeff Kukucka

Contact Info

Phone:
Office:
LA 3143
Email:
Hours:
Monday: 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Education

Ph.D., Psychology
CUNY Graduate Center, 2014

M.A., Forensic Psychology
John Jay College of Criminal
Justice, 2012

B.A., Psychology
Loyola College in Maryland, 2009

Areas of Expertise

Human Factors in Forensic Science

Life After Wrongful Conviction

Police Interrogations & False Confessions

The PLaTO Lab

Dr. Kukucka's PLaTo (Psychology and Law at Towson) Lab consists of graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in applying psychological science to the criminal justice system.

To learn more about Dr. Kukucka's extensive research on human factors in forensic science and life after exonerations, visit his Google Scholar and OSF profiles, and read about the work underway in the PLaTO Lab.

Biography

Jeff Kukucka graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Loyola College in Maryland. As an undergraduate, he became involved in research on conformity in eyewitness memory with Dr. Kerri Goodwin (Towson University) and research on child forensic interviewing and metacognition with Dr. Maggie Bruck (Johns Hopkins Medical Institute). He then graduated from the Ph.D. Program in Psychology & Law at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he worked primarily under Dr. Saul Kassin (John Jay College of Criminal Justice).

Research Interests

Dr. Kukucka is broadly interested in the psychological causes and consequences of wrongful convictions in the criminal legal system, with a particular focus on forensic science errors, post-exoneration adjustment, cognitive biases, and police interrogations.

in the media

  • Dr. Kukucka's Psychology Today blog, Reasonable Doubt, looks at the many ways in which psychology can help us understand, and prevent, miscarriages of criminal justice. 
  • With George Floyd, a Raging Debate Over Bias in the Science of Death, The New York Times, April, 2021.

Selected Publications

Kukucka, J., Horodyski, A. M., & Dardis, C. M. (in press). The exoneree health and life experiences (ExHaLE) study: Trauma exposure and mental health among wrongly convicted individuals. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.

Dror, I. E., Melinek, J., Arden, J. L., Kukucka, J., Hawkins, S., Carter, J., & Atherton, D. (2021). Cognitive bias in forensic pathology decisions. Journal of Forensic Sciences66, 1751-1757.

Growns, B., & Kukucka, J. (2021). The prevalence effect in fingerprint identification: Match and non-match base rates impact misses and false alarms. Applied Cognitive Psychology35, 751-760.

Kukucka, J., Applegarth, H. K., & Mello, A. L. (2020). Do exonerees face employment discrimination similar to actual offenders? Legal and Criminological Psychology, 25, 17-32. 

Kassin, S. M., Dror, I. E., & Kukucka, J. (2013). The forensic confirmation bias: Problems, perspectives, and proposed solutions. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition2, 42-52.

Courses Taught

  • PSYC 212: Behavioral Statistics

  • PSYC 687: Advanced Experimental Design I

  • PSYC 688: Advanced Experimental Design II

  • PSYC 689: Multivariate Methods

Honors and Awards

  • Association for Psychological Science "Rising Star," 2021
  • American Psychology-Law Society Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Excellence, 2020
  • St. Paul's School Distinguished Young Alumnus Award, 2020
  • Towson University Honors College Professor of the Year, 2018
  • Psi Chi Eastern Regional Faculty Advisor Award (co-winner with Dr. David Earnest), 2017
  • Towson University Psi Chi Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award, 2016
  • American Psychology-Law Society Dissertation Award (3rd place), 2014