Annika Maria Désirée Melinder

Professor - Klinisk psykologi
Image of Annika Maria Désirée Melinder
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22845148
Room S01-23
Available hours By agreement
Other affiliations Department of Psychology

Current position

Professor and Director of the Cognitive Developmental Psychology Research Unit, University of Oslo, Norway. The research unit includes five PhD students, two senior researchers, research assistants, and the lab holds EEG and eye tracking cameras.

Academic interests

General cognitive development

My primary research interest concerns cognitive development, with a specific focus on emotional memory and social cognition. Research projects include memory development, development of executive functions, empathy, and emotional regulation. I make use of observational data, interviews as well as more technical advanced method such as EEG (as event related potentials) and eye tracking.

In my lab we conduct infant studies in regard to joint visual attention, emotional regulation, and early social cognition. In particularly, we have demonstrated infants’ capability to detect unexpected events occurring in an everyday context. We also investigate face recognition and bias in regard to age with 5-year-old children employing EEG. In a series of experiments we further map the relationship between working memory and other central executive functions important to learning and memory.

Witness psychology

A major theme in my research has been and still is the development of more efficient interview strategies for children in the legal system. We work both with classical experimental designs, as well as with field studies to learn more about issues related to memory and suggestibility. Themes currently studied include the effects of repeated interviews, induced forgetting, and effects of stress on memory.

The Norwegian jury system has also been a focus in my witness psychological research, and so has evaluations of the general public and expert witnesses’ knowledge about factors affecting reliability in suspects and witness. An ongoing study focus on whether different emotional expressions in the child witness, affects the decision making process in the legal system.

Developmental psychopathology – clinical psychology

As a child psychologist, I am dedicated to integrate experimental research with clinical experience focusing on neuro-cognitive dysfunctions and reactions to trauma. Participants in these projects include children in the child protective service, self injury adolescents in collaboration with Rikshospitalet, children exposed to methadone during pregnancy in collaboration with SERAF, and ME (chronic fatigue) youths in collaboration with Rikshospitalet.


2008-2009 Faculty development courses: Teaching and learning in higher education, University of Oslo

2007-2008 Diploma in research leadership, University of Oslo

2004-2006 Postdoc, University of Oslo

2000–2004 Ph.D. Psychology, University of Oslo

2001-2002 Ph.D. one-year visiting scholarship, University of California, Davis

1994–1997 Specialist in Clinical Psychology, Institute of Nic Waal, Oslo

1984–1990 Candidate Pcychol, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


2010- Professor and Director of the Cognitive Developmental Research Unit (EKUP)

2006-2010 Associated professor and Director of the Cognitive Developmental Research Unit (EKUP)

2004-2006 Postdoc research fellow at the department of Psychology, UiO

2000–2004 Full time position as researcher (PhD program)

1998–1999 Private practice as psychologist (expert evaluations, assessments for the courts)

1994–1998 Psychologist, Psychiatric clinic for children, BUPA, Tønsberg, Norway

1992–1994 Psychologist, Child protective service (Fylkeskommunale barnevern)

1990–1992 Psychologist, Gaustad Psychiatric Hospital of Oslo, Norway

Research positions

2010- Professor

2006-2012 Director of the Cognitive Developmental Research Unit, Department of Psychology

2006-2010 Associate professor

2004-2006 Postdoc position, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway

2000-2004 PhD Researcher, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway

Teaching and mentorship

I am teaching at several levels (e.g., BA, master´s program, PhD courses, as well as in the professional and clinical program)

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Witness psychology

  • Cognitive Development

  • Interviewing methods

  • Rules, ethics, and professional work for the court (expert witness)

  • Child clinical assessment


Master program

From 2001 until 2011, 20 students have completed their thesis with me as the supervisor/mentor at the master or professional program.

Doctoral program

  • One PhD student defended her thesis in August this year

  • One PhD student delivered the thesis in October

  • One PhD student will deliver the thesis in Mars, 2012

Grants, fellowships and awards

2011-2013 Grant from the Ministry of Children and Equality (3 mill NOK)

2007 Grants from the Norwegian Research Council (1,3 mill NOK)

2006-2012 Grant from the Ministry of Children and Equality, (≈ 22 mill NOK)

2005 The department of Psychology’s award for research communication in 2005

2003 Bjørn Christiansen’s award for the best article published in the Norwegian journal for Psychology in 2003 (Norwegian Psychological Association) (with S. Magnussen), (20 000 NOK)

2003–2004 Fellow of the Center of Advanced Studies at the Academy of Science, Norway

2001-2002 University of Oslo, Graduate Student Travel Award

2001-2002 Foundation for one-year exchange scholarship in the U.S., The Norwegian Research Institute

2001 American Psychology-Law Society Grant-in-Aid Award, APA, (5000 NOK)

2000-2004 University of Oslo, Graduate Studies Fellowship

Major official boards and consulting affiliations

2014- Associated Editor, British Journal of Developmental Psychology

2009- Member of The Commission for Forensic Medicine (den rettsmedisinske kommisjon), appointed by the Ministry of Justice

2009-2011 Member of the Scientific Council for Child and Family affairs (Bufdir)

2008-2011 Member of the board of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Oslo

2008-2011 Member of the board of the Department of Psychology, Oslo

2007-2009 Appointed by the Norwegian Department of Education and Research to the ethical committee for Medicine (regional etisk komite for helseforskning, SØR-ØST)

2006- Member of the executive committee of the Nordic network for Psychology and Law, Sweden

2006-2009 Appointed to The Scientific Committee of The 11. European Congress of Psychology 2009, Oslo

2005 Special consultant and member of the reference group for the Norwegian Department of Justice regarding the intervention Barnas Hus, Oslo

2005-2009 Appointed by the Norwegian Department of Justice (officially appointed/i statsråd) to the Control Committee for Communications Monitoring, Oslo

2003-2004 Appointed by the Norwegian Department of Justice (official appointed/i statsråd) to evaluate the current status of child witnesses interviewing, Myhre utvalget, Oslo

1993- Court appointed expert in parental termination and child custody cases for the legal system 


  • Professor Gail Goodman, UC Davis, US

  • Professor Charles Nelson, Harvard Medical School, US

  • Professor Cecare Cornoldi, University of Padova, Italy

  • Professor Gustaf Gredebäck, Uppsala universitet, Sweden

  • Professor Torleiv Rognum, Rettsmedisinsk institutt, Oslo, Norway

  • Associate professor, MD, Tom Stiris, Ullevål universitetssykehus, Oslo, Norway

  • Associate professor, MD, Vegard Bruun Wyller, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway

Tags: Developmental psychology
Published Sep. 21, 2010 10:01 AM - Last modified Feb. 4, 2015 12:18 PM