Forensic Science

Forensic Psychology Laboratory

In 2009, the National Academy of Sciences released a report that was highly critical of forensic science.  One of the academy's main concerns was that most forensic techniques are subjective. Dr. Madon and her colleagues, in conjunction with partnering agencies, are conducting a federally-funded research study that aims to quantify the validity of cartridge case comparisons under realistic, field-based conditions. The goal of this research is to underscore the point that subjectivity and invalidity are not synonymous.  That is, even though the forensic analysis of fired cartridge cases relies on human judgment, it can still be a valid technique if the rate of accuracy is high under a variety of conditions that are present in the field.

Interested in Participating?


If you are trained to perform forensic tests of fired cartridge cases, currently conduct such examinations for employment, and are 18 years old or older, you are eligible to participate in this research.  Please see the invitation HERE, and contact the Principal Investigator for more information: Dr. Stephanie Madon at or 515-294-2932.

Selected Publications:

​Smalarz, L., Madon, S., Yang, Y., Guyll, M., & Buck, S. (2016). The perfect match: Do criminal stereotypes bias forensic evidence analysis. Law and Human Behavior, 40, 420-429. Link


Science Hall I, Room 492

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