Psychology and Law Lab

Dr. Schuller 's Research lab staff

Dr. Schuller 's Research lab staff. From left to right; Caroline Erentzen, Mehmet Topyurek, Dr. Schuller, Alysia Salerno, Rebecca Abavi, Afanseh Raissi.


  • Caroline Erentzen

Caroline is a third-year Ph.D. student working under Dr. Schuller’s supervision. Prior to attending York, Caroline completed an Honours B.A. and a Master’s degree in Social Psychology at the University of Western Ontario. Following this, she obtained a law degree from Queen’s University and is currently a member of the Ontario Bar. After several years of private practice, she returned to academic study of law and psychology. Her main interests are with the intersection of psychology and the law, particularly in jury reactions to hate crimes and bias-motivated offences. Additional research projects in the Schuller lab include jury bias screening procedures (the “challenge for cause”) and wrongful convictions.


  • Alisha Salerno

Alisha is a first year Master's student working under the supervision of Dr. Regina Schuller. She completed her honours degree in Psychology at Ryerson University, completing an honours thesis investigating the effects of computer animation on legal decision-making. Her research interests include extralegal factors influencing legal decision-making, cyberjustice, criminal psychology and the intersection of disability and the law. Beyond research, she plays on two women's soccer teams and is also the co-founder of Reach Toronto, a not-for-profit for youth and adults with intellectual disabilities.



  • Rebecca  Abavi

Rebecca is in her fourth year of studies at York University, and is currently completing an Honours BA in Psychology. Her thesis explores juror decision making in trials of sexual assault. In the future, she would like to pursue a degree in Clinical Psychology and conduct research at the intersection of mental health, interpersonal relationships and well-being. She enjoys the practice of meditation, and has taken an interest in Buddhist philosophy. She also enjoys reading speculative and science fiction, and taking walks through Toronto.


  • Mehmet Topyurek

Mehmet is in his fourth year of an Honours baccalaureate degree at York, with general research interests in clinical and forensic psychology. Having somewhat of a law background taught from high school, he became interested in the integration of law and psychology. His current research investigates hate crime and juror decision-making. His future goal is to become a forensic psychologist and pursue both treatment and assessment while conducting research on the sidelines. His personal interests generally involve volunteering, and he is the co-founder of an organization at York called Reach Out, which promotes a psychologically healthy lifestyle and holds regular workshops content with educational content and motivational speakers.


  • Afsaneh Raissi

Afsaneh is currently volunteering in the Psychology and Law Lab. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at York in the spring of 2015. After taking a course with Dr. Schuller in 2014, she became interested in the intersection of psychology and the law and started working in the lab as a research assistant on a study investigating the challenge for cause procedure. She also conducted an independent study with Dr. Schuller, investigating how perceptions of exonerees and wrongful convictions could influence belief in a just world. Her research interests also include implicit racial prejudice. She completed an Honours thesis under Dr. Jennifer Steele, exploring the effect of emotional expressions on implicit racial attitudes. Along with volunteering in the Schuller Psychology and Law Lab, she is also volunteering at the Interpersonal Perception and Social Cognition Lab, as well as Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre as a research assistant. Afsaneh is planning on pursuing a career in medicine in the future.