Thomas J. Nyman

Thomas J. Nyman
Assistant Professor of Practice in Psychology

Thomas J. Nyman is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice in Psychology at New York University Shanghai. Professor Nyman holds a PhD in Legal Psychology from Åbo Akademi University (Finland) and he is also a licensed Clinical Psychologist. His research is focused on legal psychology, human-machine communication (HMC), and artificial intelligence (AI).

His research in legal psychology has focused on finding the thresholds for when an eyewitness can sufficiently encode the face of a perpetrator in circumstances of increased distance and decreased lighting that allow for a later correct identification. He is also interested in how the age and ethnicity of both the eyewitness and perpetrator affect identification accuracy.

His research in HMC and AI has focused on the psychological aspects of how humans engage with and are assisted by machines and AI systems (i.e., machine learning) in both clinical and legal contexts. Specifically, he has investigated how individuals react both in virtual reality (VR) scenarios and to online digital interlocutors in interview situations. He is also working on digital mental health interventions (DMHIs); specifically, the use of game-based learning and serious gaming in DMHIs.


Select Publications

  • Nyman, T. J., Antfolk, J., Lampinen, J. M., Korkman, J., & Santtila, P. (2021). The effects of distance and age on the accuracy of estimating perpetrator gender, age, height, and weight by eyewitnesses. Psychology, Crime & Law, 27(3), 231–252.

  • Nyman, T. J., Antfolk, J., Lampinen, J. M., Korkman, J., & Santtila, P. (2020). Eyewitness identifications after witnessing threatening and non-threatening scenes in 360-degree virtual reality (or 2D) from first and third person perspectives. PLoS ONE 15(9): e0238292.

  • Nyman, T. J., Lampinen, J. M., Antfolk, J., Korkman, J., & Santtila, P. (2019). The distance threshold of reliable eyewitness identification. Law and Human Behavior, 43(6), 527-541.

  • Nyman, T. J., Antfolk, J., Lampinen, J. M., Tuomisto, M., Kaakinen, J. K., Korkman, J., & Santtila, P. (2019). A stab in the dark: The distance threshold of target identification in low light. Cogent Psychology, 6(1), 1–23.

  • Laine, M., Fellman, D., Waris, O., Nyman, T. J. (2018). The early effects of external and internal strategies on working memory updating training. Scientific Reports, 8, 4045.



  • PhD, Psychology
    Åbo Akademi University
  • MA, Psychology
    Åbo Akademi University
  • MA, Philosophy
    Åbo Akademi University

Research Interests

  • Legal and Investigative Psychology

  • Eyewitness Facial Memory and Identification

  • Human-Machine Communication (HMC) 

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Digital Mental Health Interventions (DMHIs)

  • Virtual Reality (VR)

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Psychology (PSYCH-SHU 101 & PSYCH-UA 9001)

  • Legal Psychology (SOCS-SHU 334)

  • The Psychology of Human-Machine Communication and Relationships (PSYCH-SHU 344)

  • Empirical Research Practice (SOCS-SHU 350)

  • Capstone Seminar: Psychology (SOCS-SHU 401)