Dominic is a psychologist interested in examining bias within legal decision-making and the criminal justice system. His main research interest and specialism is jury decision-making within rape trials, alongside examining the attitudes that underpin gender-based violence. To date, Dominic has published more than 60 scientific articles and book chapters on legal and criminological psychology topics and received almost £5 million pounds in research funding to carry out this research.
He joined Loughborough University in April 2022 as a Senior Lecturer in Criminology, having previously taught Forensic Psychology at Universities in Manchester, Huddersfield, and Leeds. His PhD research examined the fairness and functionality of juror decision-making within English rape trials.
He is Visiting Professor of Criminological Psychology at SWPS University of Social Sciences in Poland and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, awarded in recognition of the contributions he has made to the discipline of Psychology. In January 2023, Dominic was selected to be a founding member of the Royal Society’s newly established UK Young Academy, a network of researchers from across the UK said to have made significant contributions to their fields. Dominic and other UKYA members are tasked with identifying innovative interdisciplinary solutions to help tackle the biggest challenges that face global societies, during their five-year tenure.
Dominic is a senior trustee for JusticeisNow! a registered charity aiming to reform rape justice in the UK and served as Academic Advisor to the Victim Commissioner for England and Wales until late 2022. Dominic continues to work closely with collaborators in Poland, China, Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean, as well as colleagues at several UK universities.
Notably, Dominic is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Criminal Psychology and Associate Editor of Frontiers in Psychology (Forensic and Legal Psychology Section). He also serves as Editorial Board Member for a number of other international publications including the Journal of Criminal Justice, The Police Journal, Frontiers in Quantitative Psychology and Measurement and Heliyon (Psychology).
Dominic’s main research interests involve examining bias within the Criminal Justice System alongside attempting to measure and reduce problematic attitudes which underpin gender-based violence throughout global societies. He regularly consults government agencies and NGO’s in the UK and abroad on such issues.
Until early 2022 he was a Co-Investigator on a large UKRI GCRF multi-country research project based out of the University of Huddersfield and tasked with developing and evaluating prosocial computer games that educate young people about gender-based violence. As part of this research, known as the None-in-Three Project, Dominic and his colleagues carried out primary research and educative interventions with more than 20,000 children and young adults in Uganda, India, Jamaica, and the UK.
Since then, in collaboration with researchers at Tsinghua University in China as well as Lancaster University, Kings College London, The Open University and the University of Law in the UK, he has received both small and large-scale funding to further investigate varying aspects of public and juror biases towards victims of sexual and intimate partner violence. Alongside Dr Siobhan Weare at Lancaster University, he recently secured funding from the prestigious Economic and Social Research Council to examine jury-decision making within sexual offence trials where men are the victims of violence perpetrated by other men and women.
External Research Funding
- ESRC - £438,634.72 (2023 – 2026)
- Examining jury-decision making in sexual offence trials involving male victims.
- Chinese Ministry of Education - 200,000 CYN (2023 – 2026)
- Assessing Causes and Interventions for Partner Violence in China.
- British Academy - £9,897.00 (2023 – 2024)
- Exploring Defendant Race and Complainant Sexuality on Juror Judgments.
- AHRC (GCRF) - £4.3 Million (2017 – 2022)
- Testing the effectiveness of pro-social computer games to tackle GBV.
- ESRC - £13,080.00 (2020 – 2021)
- Assessing public perceptions towards male victims of sexual violence.
- British Academy - £9,966.00 (2020 – 2021)
- Investigating public attitudes towards rape justice.
At Loughborough University Dominic delivers teaching on a range of topics and contributes to teaching on the following modules:
- Forensic Psychology (Module Leader)
- Criminal Justice System in E&W (Module Leader)
- Violence and Violent Crime
- Becoming a Criminologist
- How to win at Criminology and Sociology
- Criminology Dissertation
Dominic is available to supervise PhD projects investigating; jury decision-making in sexual offence trials, the nature and prevalence of rape myths among varied populations; attitudes towards sexual and domestic violence in the CJS; offending behaviour and motivations; bias within the criminal justice system.
Completed PhD students:
- Dr Lara Hudspith – Justice for Rape Victim-Survivors: Exploring the Need for a Court-Based Intervention to Address Jurors' Rape Myth Acceptance (Awarded 2022).
- Dr Russell Woodfield – Profiling Trauma and the Associated Mental Health Outcomes in Prison Personnel (Awarded 2020).
Current PhD candidates:
- Lucie Homer – Exploring Criminal Social Identity (CSI) among OCG prison populations in England & Wales.
- Gill Kirkman – An investigation of Adolescent Dating Violence and Attitudes (ADVA) among UK adolescents.
- Eleanor Manhong Li – Jury decision making and Criminal Trials in Hong Kong.
- Hannah Lorimer – Exploring the role of offending identities in the risk assessment and risk management process of offending men.
- Catherine Phillips – Identifying bias in juror decision making and evaluating the effectiveness of pre-trial educational interventions.
- Gareth Ross – Investigating the relationship between prison social climate and criminal social identity within inmate populations.
Selected Works on Jury Decision Making
- Willmott, D. & Hudspith, L. (Forthcoming - 2024). Jury Trials and Rape Myth Bias: Examining the Research Evidence, Stakeholder Perspectives and Effective Solutions. In N. Monaghan (Eds.). Challenges in the Jury System: UK Juries in Comparative Perspective. London: Routledge.
- Hudspith, L., Wager, N., Willmott, D., & Gallagher, B. (2023). Forty Years of Rape Myth Acceptance Interventions: A Systematic Review of What Works in Naturalistic Institutional Settings and How this can be Applied to Educational Guidance for Jurors. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 24(2), 981-1000. DOI: 10.1177/15248380211050575
- Lilley, C., Willmott, D. & Mojtahedi, D. (2023). Juror Characteristics on Trial: Investigating how Psychopathic Traits, Rape Attitudes, Victimisation Experiences and Juror Demographics influence Decision-Making in an Intimate Partner Rape Trial.Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13, 1086026. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.1086026
- Daly, E., Smith, O., Bows, H., Brown, J., Chalmers, J., Cowan, S., Horvath, M., Leverick, F., Lovett, J., Munro, V., Willmott, D. (2023). Myths about Myths? A Commentary on Thomas (2020) and the Question of Jury Rape Myth Acceptance. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, 7(1),189-200. DOI:10.1332/239868021X16371459419254
- Willmott, D., Boduszek, D., Debowska, A., & Hudspith, L. (2021). Jury Decision Making in Rape Trials: An Attitude Problem? In D. Crighton & G. Towl(Eds.), Forensic Psychology (3rd Ed., pp. 94-119). Chichester: Wiley (ISBN: 978-1-119-67354-5).
- Willmott, D., Boduszek, D., Debowska, A. & Woodfield, R. (2018). Introduction and Validation of the Juror Decision Scale (JDS): An Empirical Investigation of the Story Model. Journal of Criminal Justice, 57, 26-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2018.03.004