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Wagenaar, W.A.


Willem Wagenaar

Willem Albert Wagenaar, born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 1941. Ph.D. from Leiden University. Professor of Experimental Psychology at Leiden University. († 2011)

Permanent Fellow (1 September 2001 - 30 June 2002)

I spent four days a week at NIAS as Permanent Fellow and the fifth day at Leiden University as Professor of Experimental Psychology. My empirical research is about the recollection of the content of children's books. The main research question is about changes in memory: are they mere failures of the memory function, or are they useful adaptations that increase the preparedness for future situations? The first tests have lead to a standard format for the 50 interviews, which will be conducted until June 2003. The second research project is an extension of my study on autobiographical memory, reported in 1986. I have started a textbook on "Law and Psychology", with chapters on issues that are usually not discussed in the current literature. Seven chapters have been completed and the eighth is in preparation. Examples are: chapters on the free will of defendants; on the use of case histories as proof of a theory and on the consideration alternative scenarios. Four chapters were written for a new Dutch textbook that deals with law and psychology. A proposal for a theme group in the year 2004/05 on "confessions" was also prepared during this period.

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