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Sara Cowan, MA, Psychology

Research interest:

How do jury-eligible adults decide whether to believe an alibi or not? Sara’s research in forensic psychology explores how accurate alibis are sometimes rejected by the people evaluating them. She is looking at why this happens and what strategies can be used to help evaluators make more accurate decisions.

"Ryerson was my top choice for grad studies because of the emphasis on applied research."


Why Ryerson?

“Ryerson was my top choice for grad studies because of the emphasis on applied research. I want my work to lead to meaningful, positive change within the legal system and the required practicum placements have been the perfect avenue for further applied training. Also, I really wanted to work with certain Ryerson faculty. They are leaders in a variety of field, and are open to collaboration with students whom they are not directly supervising.”


Advice for prospective grad students?

“This may sound counterintuitive but I find it helpful to place limits on my workday. When I know I am finished at a particular time each day, it really forces me to use my time productively (and then I also get time to relax and unwind so I can come back to the lab refreshed the next day). Also, be sure to work with other students as much as you can. Grad school isn’t a competition and we can all achieve more by working together than we could alone.”


Where Ryerson lead her next:

The Psychology and Law Lab at Ryerson where she is pursuing her PhD. “The nice thing about a PhD in Psychology is that it’s a research skills-based program. If your research skills are solid, the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can do.”