Henry Otgaar

Prof. Otgaar’s research concentrates on the functioning of memory and its relation to statements in eyewitnesses and perpetrators. That is, his work focuses on developmental changes in memory from childhood to adulthood and he is interested in factors (e.g., trauma) that relate to the development of memory illusions. Furthermore, he has a strong interest in biases and legal decision-making and how biases can affect expert witness work. He collaborates with research groups in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, Sweden, France, Australia, Chili, Romania, Italy, North America, and Indonesia. Furthermore, he has received awards for his research and teaching. Current studies focus on precursors of children’s and adults’ false memories, eyewitness memory, adaptive memory, delayed disclosure of sexual abuse, and interviewing children and adults. Otgaar has received many grants and prices for his work and has disseminated his work extensively to psychologists, students, and practitioners. His research often attracts national as international media attention. Also, he has often cooperated in legal cases involving (child) witnesses. Specifically, he works for the Maastricht Forensic Institute as an expert witness. Otgaar is also a member of the Landelijke Expertisegroep Bijzondere Zedenzaken and the College voor Toetsing en Advies of the Landelijke Deskundigheidsmakelaar. These committees fall under the National Police and in these committees, legal cases and expert witness work are discussed.