Yuerui (Julia) Wu
I am interested in how emotions and memory interact with each other and manifest in the larger social contexts. Specifically, I want to look at the role of various emotional, social and cultural factors on children’s disclosure and recollections of details about stressful or traumatic events, as well as how children and adults remember, interpret, and predict the emotions experienced in different interpersonal events. Potential clinical and legal implications are investigated.
My primary goal is to conduct research that can be applied by policy makers to improve our child welfare agencies and children’s interactions with our broader legal systems. More specifically, my research interests fall into three main areas. First, I am interested in why and how children and adults choose to disclose stressful or traumatic events. Second, I am interested in how stress and trauma may impact the encoding and retrieval of short- and long-term memories of an event. Third, I am interested in the long-term consequences (e.g., mental/physical health, educational attainment) of children’s interactions with child welfare and legal systems.
I am interested in the study of memory and trauma, and how their interaction affects children’s eyewitness testimony and their long-term overall wellbeing. I have specific interest in studying maltreated children’s ability to overcome the effects of their family’s involvement in the legal system, and to provide an informative testimony about traumatic events that they experienced or witnessed. Further interests include the ability of children who have disabilities to overcome additional cognitive and emotional difficulties to disclose a truthful and informative testimony.
I am interested in systemic variables that influence the cognitive processes relevant to investigative and judicial procedures. Specifically, I aim to improve existing and develop novel techniques to aid memory and decision-making processes throughout the stages of the legal system. My current research focuses on the psychology of eyewitness lineups, evaluation of testimony, and interviewing techniques.