In this podcast interview, Dr. Tess Neal provides an overview of her academic journey since completing her B.A. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln through her Ph.D. program at the University of Alabama to her current position as Assistant Professor of Psychology in Arizona State University’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Neal is a licensed psychologist, and she reveals the choices she made when selecting a master’s and doctorate school and program while providing copious advice for those interested in seeking graduate degrees in psychology.
Dr. Neal graduated with her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and has always had an interest in law and forensic psychology. Much of her early work focused on expert bias in the legal system, credibility, and juror perceptions. As a result of her persistence and dedication, she has become an award-winning teacher, scholar, and mentor. Dr. Neal was named a “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science (APS) for her early career research on judgment, decision-making, and expert bias. The APS “Rising Star” designation is given to those whose innovative research has “already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions.” Recently, Dr. Neal was recognized for her long-standing commitment as a mentor as she received the ASU Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award (Outstanding Master’s Mentor).
As the Director of ASU’s Clinical and Legal Judgment Lab, Dr. Neal works with students and other scholars to examine how human judgment intersects with psychology, law, and other sciences to better understand how people make decisions. From studying how to keep “junk science” out of the courtroom to studying the biases of forensic experts, Dr. Neal hopes her interdisciplinary research blending psychology, law, and ethics continues to improve the criminal justice system. She plans to continue studying the judgments, perceptions, and misperceptions of psychologists and other experts in the legal system as these have meaningful impacts on the real world.
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Interests and Specializations
Dr. Neal’s interests are reflected in her scholarly research. She is interested in reasoning, inference, and decision making among forensic experts, jurors, and judges. She is also interested in the effectiveness and validity of expert testimony and is currently examining psychologists’ judgments in legal contexts. In fact, if you are a licensed psychologist you can participate in her most current research and receive Continuing Education (CE) credits.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Double Major: Psychology and English, Double Minor: Sociology and Criminal Justice (2005); Graduated with Highest Distinction, Honors Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Master of Arts (M.A.), Clinical Psychology (2007); Psychology and Law Concentration, University of Alabama.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Clinical Psychology (2012); Psychology-Law Concentration, Quantitative Minor, University of Alabama.
Licensed Psychologist (L.P.), State of AZ (Lic #PSY-004630) and NE (Lic #844), voluntary inactive status.
Other Links of Interest
ASU Law and Behavioral Science InitiativeASU On Campus M.S. Program in PsychologyASU Online Master of Science in Forensic PsychologyASU Online Master of Science in PsychologyThe PLuS AllianceThe Night That Lasted A Lifetime: How Psychology Was Misused In Teen's Murder Case
Bradley(00:00:13)Welcome to the Master's in Psychology podcast where psychology students can learn from psychologists, educators, and practitioners to better understand what they do, how they got there, and hear the advice they have for those interested in getting a master's degree in psychology. I'm your host, Brad Schumacher,