Melissa Berry

Visiting Assistant Professor
Full-Time Faculty
College of Arts and Sciences: Psychology

Profile

Dr. Berry has taught part-time at UD since 1996, and began teaching and advising in a full-time capacity in 2000. She has also taught at the University of Cincinnati, Wright State University, Sinclair Community College, and Antioch College. Dr. Berry has taught a wide range of courses, including Forensic Psychology, Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, Health Psychology, Social Cognition, Personality Psychology, and Experimental Psychology.

Faculty Perspective

Although for many of my younger years I was certain that I would pursue a career in law, my first exposure to the study of psychology changed my entire perspective. During my first year in college I took Introductory Psychology, and I was hooked! My exposure to Social Psychology during my junior year helped focus my interests further, which then led to an undergraduate honors thesis involving counterfactual thinking. I've been researching different applications of counterfactual thinking since that time, and I've also rekindled my original passion for studying the law. Teaching a course in Forensic Psychology and conducting research in this area has allowed me to pursue both of my loves: social psychology and its intersection with the legal system. I've also been privileged to supervise several student research teams exploring counterfactual thinking and forensic psychology.

In all aspects of my work, whether teaching, conducting research, or advising students, I try to focus on the practical applications and implications of the task at hand. As a student, I often asked myself questions like "Why does this matter? When will I use this information?" Keeping these questions in mind, I make every effort to apply pertinent material and make it relevant to students' everyday lives.

Courses Taught

  • Physiological Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Social Cognition (graduate level)
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Psychology of Personality
  • Psychology of Adjustment
  • Uses of Psychology in Everyday Life

Degrees

  • Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 1998

Research Interests

  • Counterfactual thinking (considering "what might have been") and its numerous applications, such as its role in (1) coping efforts, (2) jury deliberations, and (3) health behaviors
  • Aspects of forensic psychology, such as (1) eyewitness identifications, (2) perceptions of rape victims, and (3) false confessions

Selected Publications and Presentations

Publications

Rodriguez, D. N.,  Berry, M. A., & Gresley, J. L. (under review). Modeling the influence of situation and attitudinal variables on lay responses to violent sexual and non-sexual offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 

Smart, S,  Berry, M. A., & Rodriguez, D. N.  (2014). "Skilled observation and change blindness: A comparison of law enforcement and student samples." Applied Cognitive Psychology. doi: 10.1002/acp.3021

Rodriguez, D. N., &  Berry, M. A.  (2013). "Eyewitness science and the call for double-blind lineup administration". Journal of Criminology. doi: 10.1155/2013/530523

Rodriguez, D. N., &  Berry, M. A.  (2012). "The effect of lineup administrator blindness on the recording of eyewitness identification decisions."  Legal and Criminological Psychology. Doi: 10.1111/j.2011-8333.2012.03058.x

Daftary-Kapur, T., &  Berry, M. A. (2010). "Outcome severity, monetary anchors, and mock juror decision-making." The American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 28(1), 21-45.

Rodriguez, D. N., &  Berry, M. A. (2010). "System and estimator variables, eyewitness confidence, and the postidentification feedback effect." The American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 28(2), 17-37.

Hammond, E.M, Berry, M.A., & Rodriguez, D. N. (2011). "Juror decision-making in rape trials: The roles of rape myth acceptance, sexual attitudes, and belief in a just world." Legal and Criminological Psychology, 16, 242-252. doi: 10.1348/135532510X499887

Rodriguez, D. N., & Berry, M. A. (2009). "Dissonance reduction in jurors' post-verdict decisions." The American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 27,1-13.

Rye, M. S., Cahoon (Berry), M. B., Ali, R. S., & Daftary, T. (2008). "Development and validation of the Counterfactual Thinking for Negative Events Scale." Journal of Personality Assessment, 90(3), 261-269.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B., & Lundgren, D. C. (2001). "Counterfactual thinking, causal attribution, and the MBTI." Journal of Psychological Type, 56, 24-31.

Lundgren, D. C., Sampson, E. B., & Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (1998). "Undergraduate men's and women's responses to positive and negative feedback about academic performance." Psychological Reports, 82, 87-93.

Presentations

Smart, S. M., Berry, M. A., & Rodriguez, D. N. (2014, May). "Skilled observation and change blindness: A comparison of law enforcement and student samples." Poster accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Association of Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA.

Berry, M. A. (2012, June). "Evaluating witnesses and their testimony." Invited Panelist, Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Ohio Attorney General's Office, Criminal Justice Section: Columbus, OH.

Rodriguez, D. N., Berry, M. A., Glaser, M. K., & Timbrook, J. (2012, March).  "Lineup Administrator Blindness Affects the Recording of Eyewitness Identification Decisions."  Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, San Juan, PR.

Rodriguez, D. N., Berry, M. A., Timbrook, J., & Gresley, J. (2011, March). "The Effects of Lineup Administrator Blindness on the Recording of Eyewitness Identification Decisions."  Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Miami, FL.

Rodriguez, D. N., & Berry, M. A. (2010, March).  "Jurors’ Causal and Counterfactual Evaluations of Factors Affecting Eyewitness Evidence." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Vancouver, BC.

Berry, M.A., & Rodriguez, D. N. (2009, May). "Cognitive Dissonance in Jurors' Sentencing Recommendations: The Buffering Effect of Trial Bifurcation." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA.

Rodriguez, D. N., & Berry, M. A. (2009, March). "Dissonance Reduction in Jurors' Post-Verdict Decisions." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, San Antonio, TX.

Rodriguez, D. N., & Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2008, May) "The Own-Race Bias in Eyewitness Identification: Effects on Accuracy and the Postidentification Feedback Effect." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B., & Rodriguez, D. N. (2007, August). "Amplification Interval and Eyewitness Identifications. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association," San Francisco, CA.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B., & Rodriguez, D. N. (2007, July). "Eyewitness Accuracy: Own- and Other-race Identifications and Method of Photo Presentation." Poster accepted for presentation at the 3rd International Congress of Psychology and Law, Adelaide, Australia.

Rodriguez, D. N., & Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2007, July). "Eyewitness Accuracy: The Effects of Postidentification Feedback and Method of Photo Presentation on Retrospective Reports." Poster accepted for presentation at the 3rd International Congress of Psychology and Law, Adelaide, Australia.

Rodriguez, D. N., & Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2007, May). "Retention Interval and the Eyewitness: Effects on Accuracy and the Postidentification Feedback Effect." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, DC.

Ali, R. S., Cahoon (Berry), M. B., Rye, M. S., & Daftary, T. (2007, May). "Who is to blame? Assessing the Role of Referent in Counterfactual Thinking." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Rodriguez, D. N., & Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2007, March). "System Variables in Eyewitnessing: Identification Accuracy and the Postidentification Feedback Effect." Poster presented at Off the Witness Stand: Using Psychology in the Practice of Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B., & Rodriguez, D. N. (2006, October) "Forensic Psychology: Eyewitness Identifications and False Confessions." Invited presentation to the Psychology Club at Wilmington College.

Rodriguez, D. N., & Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2006, May). "Post-identification Feedback and Eyewitnesses' Reports of Identification Certainty." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, New York, NY.

Daftary, T., & Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2006, May). "Counterfactual Thinking and Judgments by Mock Jurors." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Daftary, T., & Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2006, March). "Outcome Severity, Monetary Anchors, and Mock Juror Decision-Making." Presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology - Law Society, St. Petersburg, FL.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B., Ali, R. S., Rye, M. S., Daftary, T., Wells, K. T., Wilson, E., Prager, E., & Muskovich, K. L. (2005, August). "Measuring Counterfactual Thinking: A New Approach." Poster presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B., Daftary, T., Ali, R. S., & Muskovich, K. L. (2005, May). "Counterfactual Thinking: Measurement and Correlates." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Los Angeles, CA.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B., Daftary, T., Muskovich, K. L., Ali, R. S., Wilson, E., & Prager, E. (2005, May). "Counterfactual Thinking, Self-esteem, and the Consideration of Future Consequences." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2004, May). "Self-Esteem, Sex, and Causal Attribution." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2004, May). "Coding for Counterfactual Content." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Chicago, IL.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2003, May). "Counterfactual Thinking and Long-Distance Relationships." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Lhamon, K. D., & Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2003, May). "Face-ism and Trait Attribution." Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Atlanta, GA.

Cahoon (Berry), M. B. (2002, December). "Patient-Provider Communication." Presentation at a Physician Education Seminar of the Department of Anesthesiology, Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, OH.