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Dr. Valerie Perez
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Why I Teach:

"As an undergraduate, I wasn’t sure what to do with my psychology degree…until a teacher took an interest in my work and helped put me on the path to a career in psychology and law. Now the most rewarding part of my job is helping students explore their own unique interests and seeing where those interests take them."






Contact Information

Budd 106
(302) 736-2561
valerie.perez(at)wesley.edu

Degrees

Ph.D., Concentration in Psychology, Florida International University
M.S., Concentration in Psychology, Florida International University
B.A., Concentration in Psychology, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth

Professional Activities

Areas of Research:

  • My research explores contemporary issues in psychology and law, including jury decision-making and lie detection. Specific interests include liars and truth tellers' cognitive strategies, deception detection, perceived dangerousness, the insanity defense, and factors influencing criminal sentencing. My research, which involves a team of outstanding undergraduate research assistants, has been funded by the American Psychology-Law Society (APLS) and has been presented nationally - most recently at the 2012 APLS Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Publications and Presentations:

  • Fisher, R.P., & Perez, V. (2007).  Memory-enhancing techniques for interviewing crime suspects.  In Christianson, S.A. Offenders’ Memories of Violent Crimes. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • Perez, V., & Fisher, R. (March 2012). Discriminating between Liars and Truth Tellers Using Their Narrative Strategies. Poster presented at the American Psychology-Law Society Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • Perez, V., & Fisher, R. (March 2012). Liars and Truth Tellers’ Narrative Strategies. Poster presented at the American Psychology-Law Society Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • Perez, V., & O’Neil, K.M. (March, 2008).  Effects of parole instructions on jurors’ non-capital sentence recommendations.  Poster presented at the American Psychology- Law Society Conference, Jacksonville, FL.

  • Perez, V., O’Neil, K.M., & Reardon, M.C. (March, 2007).  Effects of cost-benefit analyses and attitudes on punitive damage awards.  Poster presented at Off the Witness Stand: Using Psychology in the Practice of Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City, NY.
     
  • Reardon, M. C., O’Neil, K. M., & Perez, V. (March, 2007). The role of attitudes and other extralegal factors in deciding product liability claims. Poster presented at Off the Witness Stand: Using Psychology in the Practice of Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City, NY.

  • Joy, S., Perez, V., & O’Neil, K.M.  (March, 2006).  The impact of task complexity on jury sentencing in non-capital felony cases.  Paper presented at the American Psychology-Law Society Conference, St. Petersburg, FL.

  • Perez, V., Evans, J., & O’Neil, K.M.  (March, 2006).  Future dangerousness: the impact of risk factors & the GBMI option in insanity cases.  Paper presented at the American Psychology-Law Society Conference, St. Petersburg, FL.

  • Perez, V., & O’Neil, K.M. (March, 2005).  Sentencing decisions post-Blakely: Mock jurors' risk assessments and recommendations.  Paper presented at the American Psychology-Law Society Conference, La Jolla, CA.

Courses Taught

PY100 Introduction to Psychology
PY102 Psychological Science
PY307 Forensic Psychology
PY300 Legal Psychology (Special Topics)
PY310 Methods of Counseling & Psychotherapy
PY317 History and Systems of Psychology
PY440 Senior Seminar