Dr. Sara C. Appleby

Associate Professor of Psychology

Sarah ApplebyDr. Sara C. Appleby holds the position of assistant professor of psychology, focusing on psychology and the law. She teaches Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods and Statistics, and Forensic Psychology. Her research interests include deception detection, police interrogations and confessions, and legal decision-making.


  • Ph.D., Psychology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • M.A., Psychology, Boston University
  • B.A, Psychology, Rhodes College


Social psychology, psychology and Law, interrogations and confessions

Professional Interests

Dr. Appleby teaches classes related to Social Psychology, Psychology and the Law, Research Methods and Statistics, and Race and Racism. Her research interests apply social psychological theories to the legal system. In brief, she is interested in the causes and consequences of false confessions. Specifically, her research focuses on the suspect’s race and socioeconomic status as risk factors for false confessions and how confession evidence affects lay persons’ and legal professionals’ legal decision-making. Dr. Appleby is available for trial consulting and expert testimony in cases that involve coerced and possibly false confessions.


  • Appleby, S. C., & *McCartin, H. R. (2019). Effective Assistance of Counsel? An Empirical Study of Defense Attorneys’ Decision-Making in False-Confession Cases. Cardozo Law Review de novo, 2019, 123-165
  • Appleby, S. C., & Kassin, S. M. (2016). When self-report trumps science: Effects of confessions, DNA, and prosecutorial theories on perceptions of guilt. Psychology, Public Policy, And Law22(2), 127-140. doi:10.1037/law0000080
  • Kassin, S.M., Perillo, J.T., Kassin, S.M., Appleby, S.C., & Kukucka, J.P. (2015). Interrogations and Confessions. In Cutler & Zapf (Eds.). APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology.
  • Appleby, S. C., Hasel, L. E., & Kassin, S. M. (2013). Police induced confessions: An empirical analysis of their content and impact. Psychology Crime and Law, 19, 118-128. doi:10.1080/1068316X.2011.613389
  • Kassin, S. M., Appleby, S. C., & Perillo, J. T. (2010). Interviewing suspects: Practice, science, and future directions. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 15, 39-55. doi:10.1348/135532509X449361

*Indicates Mercer University students

Contact Dr. Sara C. Appleby

(478) 301-2854
Office: Willet Hall, Room 124