Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Dr Hayley Ness

Dr Hayley Ness

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Psychology
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Psychology
  • Psychology
  • hayley.ness

Professional biography

I am currently the Postgraduate Director for the Department of Psychology.

Research interests

My research is primarily in the area of eyewitness memory for faces, although I also have wider interests in face processing, eyewitness memory and the use of visual evidence in court. My PhD focused on improving facial composites using the PROfit system and different methods such as morphing composites from multiple witnesses, constructing composites in different views and examining verbal descriptions were examined. More recently I have become interested in individual differences  - why do some witnesses construct better composites than others? And I have recently conducted a pilot ERP study to examine the perceptual and cognitive processes during facial composite construction.

I am a member of the Harm & Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC), which is one of the six Open University centres of research excellence. I organised the annual conference (July 2011) which focused on ‘Constructions of Evidence’. This conference brought together key academics and practitioners from diverse fields to discuss themes such as the use of expert evidence in court. I have set-up an OpenLearn website ‘Constructions of Evidence’ to support the conference. The centre also funded a one-day seminar on the impact of visual evidence on juror decision-making, organised in conjunction with the psychology dept and Michael Bromby at Glasgow Caledonian University.

I am also part of the centre’s Forensic Psychology Research Group where I work closely with Prof Graham Pike, Dr Nicky Brace, Dr Gemma Rogers,  Dr Jim Turner, Dr Catriona Havard and Dr Gini Harrison.

Teaching interests

Since joining the university in 2009 I have been a member of the presentation teams for the following modules:

Cognitive Psychology (DD303)
Forensic psychology: crime, offenders and policing (D872)
Forensic psychology: witnesses, experts and evidence on trial (D873)
Exploring Psychology: Online Project (DZX222)

I have also contributed to the production of materials for the Cognitive Psychology (DD303) mid-life review and will be chair of the module from Sept 2011.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Forensic Psychology Research GroupGroupFaculty of Social Sciences
International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)CentreFaculty of Social Sciences


Parallel approaches to composite production: interfaces that behave contrary to expectation (2007-04)
Frowd, Charlie D.; Bruce, Vicki; Ness, Hayley; Bowie, Leslie; Paterson, Jenny; Thomson-Bogner, Claire; McIntyre, Alex and Hancock, Peter J. B.
Ergonomics, 50(4) (pp. 562-585)
Over-observed? What is the quality of CCTV in this new digital legal world? (2006-03)
Bromby, Michael and Ness, Hayley
International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 20(1&2) (pp. 105-115)
A forensically valid comparison of facial composite systems (2005-03)
Frowd, Charlie, D.; Carson, Derek; Ness, Hayley; Richardson, Jan; Morrison, Lisa; McLanaghan, Sarah and Hancock, Peter
Psychology, Crime & Law, 11(1) (pp. 33-52)
Contemporary composite techniques: the impact of a forensically-relevant target delay (2005-02)
Frowd, CHarlie D.; Carson, Derek; Ness, Hayley; McQuiston-Surrett, Dawn; Richardson, Jan; Baldwin, Hayden and Hancock, Peter
Legal and Criminological Psychology, 10(1) (pp. 63-81)
Four heads are better than one: Combining face composites yields improvements in face likeness (2002-10)
Bruce, Vicki; Ness, Hayley; Hancock, Peter J. B; Newman, Craig and Rarity, Jenny
Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(5) (pp. 894-902)
An investigation into the use of CCTV footage to improve likeness in facial composites (2006)
Ness, Hayley and Bruce, Vicki
In : European Association of Psychology and Law Conference (EAPL 2006) (27-30 June 2006, Liverpool University, Liverpool)

Request your prospectus

Request a prospectus icon

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus

Are you already an OU student?

Go to StudentHome