Carla L MacLean

Carla L MacLean
SSHRC Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Simon Fraser University


Area of expertise



Investigating industrial investigators: Examining the impact of a prioriknowledge and tunnel vision education

Research interests

I am an applied social psychologist who explores the nexus between Forensic Psychology and Occupational Health and Safety. My research is unique in that it primarily explores eyewitness memory and investigator decision making in industrial incident investigations, topics typically researched in forensic settings. Topics I have explored in my research include confirmation bias, correspondence bias, the cognitive interview, the post-identification feedback effect, and more recently, misinformation. 

My research addresses issues of judgement and decision making (How does bias influence investigators’ conclusions about incident cause? Can investigation interventions minimize tunnel vision?), social influence (What is the relationship between fatigue and the misinformation effect?), schema (How do scripts and expectation effect memory for a repeated event), social perception (How does the fundamental attribution error/correspondence bias and personal prejudice govern investigators’ evaluation of evidence?), and occupational health and safety (Are the investigation protocols used in industry reliable and valid procedures?). In sum, my research moves the spotlight from criminal investigation to the industrial scenario and in so doing, broadens the scope of inquiry concerning eyewitness reporting and investigator decision making.

Representative publications

MacLean, C. L., Brimacombe, C. A. E, Allison, M., Dahl, L. C., & Kadlec, H. (2011) Post-
identification feedback effects: Investigators and evaluators. Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 739 – 752.

MacLean, C. L., Stinson, V., Kelloway, E. K., & Fisher, R. P. (2011). Improving workplace incident investigations by enhancing memory recall.   International Journal of Workplace Health 
Management, 4, 257 – 273.

Kelloway, K., Stinson, V. & MacLean, C. L. (2004). Can eyewitness research improve occupational health and safety? Towards a research agenda. Journal of Law and Human Behaviour, 28(1), 115 - 132.


  • $81,000 September 2010 - Aug 2013 Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Post-Doctoral Fellowship
  • $94,463 August 2010 – July 2013 WorkSafe British Columbia: Research at Work Grant. Principal Investigator: J. Don Read, Co-Investigator: Carla L. MacLean, Co-Investigator: D. Stephen Lindsay
  • $500 February 2010 - American Psychology & Law Association Conference Student Travel Award: Peer-Reviewed
  • $1,500 April 2009 - BCEOHRN Travel Award for SARMAC Japan: Peer-Reviewed  
  •  $67,500 September 2006 - WorkSafe British Columbia: Doctoral Research Trainee Award (3 Years)
  •  $10,000 September 2005 - British Columbia Environmental and Occupational Health Research Network (BCEOHRN) Research Development Grant Funded by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research   
  • $2600 September 2002 - Academic Scholarship, Saint Mary’s
  • $2380 September 2001 - Academic Scholarship, Saint Mary’s University