Dr Michelle Mattison

Lecturer

Michelle teaches cognitive psychology, forensic psychology, and research methods and statistics. Her main research interests are in memory processes and development, and the treatment of vulnerable people in the criminal justice system. Michelle works with the National Crime Agency and Ministry of Justice, where she advises the police and criminal courts about how to communicate effectively with vulnerable victims and witnesses of crime.

Qualifications

Michelle gained her bachelors and masters degrees in Forensic Psychology at Teesside University in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In 2011, she was awarded a three-year PhD scholarship by Lancaster University. Michelle’s PhD examined the use of drawing to support episodic memory during police interviews. Her research had a particular focus upon vulnerable people, namely, typically developing children, and children with autism spectrum disorder.

Overview

Michelle works directly with children and adults who have complex communication needs, such as autism spectrum disorder, learning disability, and physical disability. Michelle is a Registered Intermediary with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Ministry of Justice, and also, an Intermediary for Triangle.  As an intermediary, she facilitates communication with vulnerable victims, witnesses, and defendants during police investigations and during criminal trial proceedings. Michelle also writes and contributes towards national best practice guidance about working effectively with vulnerable people in the criminal justice system.  In 2016 Michelle assisted Professor Penny Cooper with the implementation of the first intermediary pilot scheme in Australia, and provided concurrent expert evidence about the use of intermediaries to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Michelle works as a researcher with Greater Manchester Police and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester.

E-mail: m.mattison@chester.ac.uk

Teaching

Michelle lectures and leads workshops on the undergraduate and masters cognitive psychology modules; she lectures forensic psychology, and also teaches research methods and statistics at undergraduate and postgraduate level.  Michelle is responsible for supervising undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations.  Outside of university, she trains police, social workers, barristers, and judges about effective communication with children and people who have disabilities and communication impairments.

Research

Michelle’s primary research interests are in applied cognitive and developmental psychology within forensic settings.  For instance:

  • Memory development and retrieval processes in children and adults with complex communication needs, such as autism spectrum disorder and learning disability.
  • Techniques to support memory and communication during investigative interviews and judicial proceedings
  • Increasing access to justice for vulnerable victims, witnesses, suspects and defendants
  • The use of intermediaries within the criminal justice system

In 2017, Michelle was appointed as an Honorary Researcher at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, and also appointed as an Associate Researcher with Greater Manchester Police.

Since 2009, Michelle has been a member of the Executive Committee for the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, and in 2015, she was elected onto the Executive Committee of the European Association of Psychology and Law. Michelle is also an active member of: (i) the American Psychology-Law Society; (ii) the British Psychological Society; (iii) and the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition

Published work

Cooper, P., Mattison, M. L. A., & Norton, H. (2017). Looking ahead: changing language and changing procedures.  In P. Cooper & H. Norton (Eds.), Vulnerable people and the criminal justice system. A guide to law and practice (pp. 507-517). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (in press). Intermediaries, vulnerable people and the quality of evidence: An international comparison of three versions of the English intermediary model. International Journal of Evidence and Proof.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016).  Getting the best evidence from child complainants in sex abuse cases: The first witness intermediaries in Australia. Australian Police Journal, 70(4), 200-203.

Mattison, M. L. A., Dando, C. J., & Ormerod, T. (2016).  Drawing the answers: Sketching to support free and probed recall by child witnesses and victims with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice.

Humphries, R. L., Debowska, A., Boduszek, D., & Mattison. M. L. A. (2016). Gender differences in psychosocial predictors of attitudes towards reporting child sexual abuse.Journal of Child Sexual Abuse,25(3), 293-309.

Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Putting theory into practice: A comparison of the guidance available to investigative interviewers and advocates when using communication aids in the criminal justice system. In P.Cooper & L.Hunting (Eds.), Addressing vulnerability in Justice Systems (119 – 142). London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hall.

Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Communication props in the justice system: The benefits and risks. London: Intermediaries for Justice.  Available at:  http://www.intermediaries-for-justice.org/communication-props-justice-system-benefits-risks/

Mattison, M. L. A. (2015). General principles from research, policy and guidance: Planning to question a vulnerable person or someone with communication needs. London: The Advocate’s Gateway.

Mattison, M. L. A. (2015). Planning to question someone with a learning disability. London: The Advocate’s Gateway.

Debowska, A., Mattison, M. L. A., & Boduszek, D. (2015). Gender differences in the correlates of reactive aggression. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 46(3), 469-476.

Mattison, M. L. (2015). Using communication aids in the criminal justice system.  London: The Advocate’s Gateway.

Mattison, M. L. A, Dando, C. J. & Ormerod, T. (2015).  Sketching to remember: Episodic free recall task support for child witnesses and victims with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(6), 1751-1765doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2335-z 

Powell, M. B., Bowden, P., & Mattison, M. L. (2014). Stakeholders' perceptions of the benefit of introducing an Australian intermediary system for vulnerable witnesses. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology. doi: 0004865814543391.

Powell, M. B., Mattison, M. L., & McVilly, K. (2013).  Guidelines for interviewing people with communication impairments.  Australian Police Journal, 67(2), 58-63.

Conference papers, invited presentations, and practitioner training:

2017

Mattison, M. L. A., Dando, C. J., & Ormerod, T. (2017).  Drawing to remember: Supporting children with autism spectrum disorder to recall person-related information.  Invited symposium paper (Perspectives on autism spectrum disorder in the criminal justice system) presented at the British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference, June 2017, Bristol, UK.

Cooper, P. & Mattison, M. L. A. (2017). Catering for the needs of witnesses? A comparative review of the three generations of witness intermediary schemes in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Australia.  Oral paper presented at The Advocate’s Gateway International Conference: Access to Justice for Vulnerable People, June 2017, The Law Society, London, UK.

Mattison, M. L. A. (2017).  Measuring special measures: How might pre-recorded cross-examination and aids to communication help (or hinder) vulnerable witnesses). Invited symposium paper presented at the Children, Justice and Communication Conference, May 2017, University of Portsmouth, UK. 

Dando, C. J., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2017).  Applying psychological science to support children and young adults with ASC to remember experienced events.  Invited presentation at the Shropshire Tuition Medical Behavioural Support Service Conference, April 2017, Welshpool, Wales, UK.

Mattison, M. L. A., Dando, C. J., & Cooper, P. (2017).  Drawing on context: Assisting vulnerable victims and witnesses to give their best evidence. Invited symposium paper (Cognition in Context: Managing context to support cognition across forensic, military and investigative disciplines) presented at the International Convention of Psychological Science, March 2017, Vienna, Austria.

Mattison, M. L.A. (2017).  The role of registered Intermediaries. Invited presentation delivered to West Yorkshire Police (‘Working together to achieve best evidence’ seminar), March 2017, Leeds, UK.

Mattison, M. L.A. (2017).  Achieving best evidence with vulnerable witnesses. Training delivered on behalf of Belmont Training for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (‘Managing and co-ordinating interviews for complex and major investigations’ course).  March 2017, Warrington, UK.

2016

Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Conducting assessments and using communication aids. Invited presentation for the Department of Justice Registered Intermediary Training Course, November 2016, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

McCauley, C. & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Communication with disabled children. One-day training presented on behalf of Triangle to Bury Children’s Services, November 2016, Bury, UK.    

Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Adapting communication and effective participation in court. Invited seminar with P. Cooper and B O’Mahony (Using all practical steps: Vulnerable adults and effective communication in the Court of Protection) at 39 Essex Chambers, September 2016, London, UK.

Dando, C. J., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016).  Sketching to support victim and witness remembering. Invited training presentation to Greater Manchester Police, September 2016, Manchester, UK.

Mattison, M. L. A., Dando, C. J., & Ormerod, T. C.  (2016). Interviewing victims and witnesses with autism spectrum disorder.  Invited symposium paper presented at the 31st International Congress of Psychology, July 2016, Yokohama, Japan.

Mattison, M. L. A., Dando, C. J., & Ormerod, T. C.  (2016). Practitioners’ perceptions of props and tools used during investigative interviews with vulnerable witnesses.  Poster presented at the European Association of Psychology and Law Conference, July 2016, Toulouse, France.

Mattison, M. L. A., Dando, C. J., & Ormerod, T. C.  (2016). Drawing to remember: Supporting children with autism spectrum disorder to recall person-related information.  Invited symposium paper presented at the 9th Annual Conference of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, June 2016, London, UK.

Mattison, M. L. A., Dando, C. J., & Ormerod, T. C.  (2016). Practitioners’ perceptions of props and tools used during investigative interviews with vulnerable witnesses.  Invited symposium paper presented at the 9th Annual Conference of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, June 2016, London, UK.

Mattison, M. L. A., & Orrell, C. (2016).  Intermediary work and autism.  Invited presentation at the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group Masterclass, June 2016, London, UK.

Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Recent changes to procedure for taking evidence in child sexual assault cases.  Invited panel discussant at the 2016 Crown Prosecutors’ Annual Conference, March 2016, Terrigal, New South Wales, Australia.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Witness intermediaries in child sexual assault cases.  Oral paper presented at the 2016 Crown Prosecutors’ Annual Conference, March 2016, Terrigal, New South Wales, Australia.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Witness intermediaries in child sexual assault cases: Train the trainer.  Training presented to the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions, March 2016, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Witness intermediaries in child sexual assault cases.  Training presented to New South Wales Police Force, March 2016, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Witness intermediaries in child sexual assault cases.  Training presented to Judicial Commission of New South Wales, March 2016, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Witness intermediaries in child sexual assault cases.  Five-day training delivered for the Department of Justice Children’s Champion Pilot Scheme, March 2016, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Witness intermediaries in child sexual assault cases. Training presented to the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions, March 2016, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Witness intermediaries in child sexual assault cases: Train the trainer.  Training presented to New South Wales Police Force, March 2016, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Witness intermediaries in child sexual assault cases.  Training presented to New South Wales Police Force, March 2016, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Witness intermediaries in child sexual assault cases.  Five-day training delivered for the Department of Justice Children’s Champion Pilot Scheme, February 2016, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.

Cooper, P., & Mattison, M. L. A. (2016). Witness intermediaries in child sexual assault cases.  Training presented to Judicial Commission of New South Wales, February 2016, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

2015

Mattison, M. L. A. (2015). Investigative interviewing and the use of communication aids.  Invited presentation at the North West Registered Intermediary Continuing Professional Development Event, November 2015, University of Chester, UK.

Mattison, M. L. A. (2015). Effective communication. Invited presentation at the Metropolitan Police Awareness Event: Autism and Policing, November 2015, City University, London, UK.

Mattison, M. L. A. (2015). Using communication aids with vulnerable witnesses and defendants. Invited professional development training for the Advocacy Training Council, November 2015, Inner Temple, London, UK.

Mattison, M. L. A. (2015). Report writing to court (and other useful stuff). Invited presentation for the Ministry of Justice Registered Intermediary Training Course, October 2015, Manchester, UK

Mattison, M. L. A., & McCauley, C. (2015). Autism, communication and sensory issues. One-day training presented to Derbyshire County Council, September 2015, Derbyshire, UK.

Mattison, M. L. A., Dando, C. J., & Ormerod, T. C. (2015).  Drawing to support episodic remembering: increasing children’s access to justice.  Poster presented at the European Association of Psychology and Law, August 2015, Nuremberg, Germany.

Mattison, M. L. A. (2015).  Effective use of communication aids with vulnerable victims, witnesses and defendants.  Oral paper presented at The Advocate’s Gateway International Conference: Addressing vulnerability in justice systems, June 2015, London, England.

Mattison, M. L. A., Dando, C. J., & Ormerod, T. C. (2015).  Drawing to support episodic remembering: increasing children’s access to justice.  Symposium paper presented at the International Congress of Children and the Law, June 2015, Porto, Portugal.

Mattison, M. L. A., Dando, C. J., & Ormerod, T. C. (2015).  Drawing to support episodic remembering: increasing children’s access to justice.  Oral paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, March 2015, San Diego, California, United States.

Mattison, M. L. (2015).  Communicating with children. Invited presentation at the Multi-Agency Investigation and Video Interview Course, Staffordshire Police Head Quarters, January 2015, Staffordshire, UK.

Mattison, M. L. (2015).  Drawing to remember: assisting vulnerable victims and witnesses to give their best evidence. Invited workshop at the National Crime Agency, Special Measures Professional Training and Development Seminar: Navigating the changes: Supporting vulnerable and intimidated victims and witnesses to give their best evidence, January 2015, Bedford, United Kingdom.

2014

Maras, K., Crane, L., & Mattison, M. L. (2014).  Obtaining best evidence at police interviews.  Invited presentation at the British Psychological Society Autism and Criminal Justice Conference, September 2014, London, UK.

Mattison, M. L, Dando, C., & Ormerod, T. (2014). Child witnesses and victims with Autism Spectrum Disorder: drawing to support episodic remembering. Oral paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, March 2014, New Orleans, United States.

2013

Mattison, M. L, Dando, C., & Ormerod, T. (2013). Sketching to remember: assisting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to access justice. Oral paper presented at the 6th Annual Conference of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, July 2013, Maastricht, Netherlands.

Collins, K., & Mattison, M. L. (2013). “People talk about child protection [workers] being the experts, and it’s not until you come to Triangle, that you realise you really ain’t got much of a clue.” A discussion of Triangle’s innovative approach to interviewing child witnesses. Oral paper presented at the 6th Annual Conference of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, July 2013, Maastricht, Netherlands.

Mattison, M., Dando, C., & Ormerod, T. (2013).  Sketching to remember and enhancing witness accuracy: assisting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to access justice. Paper presented at the Biennial Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition Conference, June 2013, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

2012

Mattison, M. L. & Powell, M. B. (2012).  The use of intermediaries in the criminal justice system: professionals’ recommendations for reform. Invited presentation to the Attorney-General’s Department: Consultation Paper, Disability Justice Steering Group Meeting, September 2012, Melbourne, Australia.

Mattison, M. L. & Powell, M. B. (2012).  The use of intermediaries in the criminal justice system: professionals’ recommendations for reform.  Invited presentation to the, Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability, September 2012, Melbourne, Australia.

Mattison, M. L. & Powell, M. B. (2012). The use of intermediaries in England and Wales: Australian professionals’ recommendations for reform.  Invited presentation to the Disability Client Services Justice Forum, September 2012, Melbourne, Australia.

Mattison, M. L. (2012). The use of intermediaries in England and Wales.  Invited colloquium presentation to the School of Psychology, Deakin University, August 2012, Melbourne, Australia.

Mattison, M. L. & Powell, M. B. (2012). The use of intermediaries in England and Wales.   Invited presentation to the Australian Law Society, July 2012, Adelaide, Australia.

Mattison, M. L. & Powell, M. B. (2012). The use of intermediaries in England and Wales.  Invited presentation to the Disability Justice Plan Steering Group Committee and Attorney-General’s Department: Consultation for reform of the Evidence Act, July 2012, Adelaide, Australia.

Mattison, M. L. & Powell, M. B. (2012). The use of intermediaries in England and Wales.  Invited presentation to the South Australia Police Service, July 2013, Adelaide, Australia.

Mattison, M. L. A. & Powell, M. B. (2012). The use of intermediaries in England and Wales.  Invited presentation to the Courts Administration Authority, Supreme Court, July 2012, Adelaide, Australia.

Mattison, M. L., Dando, C. J., & Allen, M. (2012).  The role of Registered Intermediaries and the use of tools to assist vulnerable witnesses. Oral paper presented at the 5th Annual Conference of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, May 2012, Toronto, Canada.