The Team

Dr. Sarah Zanette


Dr. Sarah Zanette received her PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education from the University of Toronto and is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Regina, Luther College.

Dr. Zanette is a developmental psychologist with research interests that lie at the intersections of social, moral, and forensic psychology. Broadly speaking, her research focuses on improving our understanding of childhood deception (i.e., lying and cheating) and applying this knowledge to legal, forensic, clinical, and parenting contexts. Specifically, she investigates two core research questions: (1) how do children learn to deceive and develop patterns of typical and atypical lie-telling; and (2) how can children's lies be reliably detected?


Her research has been funded by agencies such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS), and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS).

Dr. Zanette currently teaches the following courses at the University of Regina/Luther College:

Follow Dr. Zanette on Instagram @zanettesarah

Current Students

Siham Hagi Hussein

Masters Student

Siham is a second-year Master’s student in the Experimental and Applied Psychology program at the University of Regina working under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Zanette, whom she also worked with to complete her B.Sc. Honours in Psychology in 2021/2022. Siham received the Canadian Psychological Association Certificate of Academic Excellence for her honours thesis, which examined racial bias in adults’ deception judgments of children’s reports. More broadly, Siham’s research interests include examining biases in adults’ veracity judgments of children’s statements, and the legal, educational, and developmental implications of (in)accurate deception detection. Her work is supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s Award (SSHRC CGS-M). 

Steffi Oberthier

Masters Student

Steffi is a first-year Master's student in the Experimental and Applied Psychology program at the University of Regina working under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Zanette. In Spring 2022, she received her Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology degree through the University of Regina under the supervision of Dr. Kaila Bruer. Her honours thesis, "Using Eyetracking Technology to Identify Looking Behaviours in Child Witnesses" examined children's looking behaviours to understand the mechanisms that factor into the accuracy of children's lineup decisions. Steffi has worked in a variety of research settings, both academic and professional, and has been a part of many volunteer research projects. Steffi gained extensive research experience during her undergraduate degree while working and volunteering for Dr. Kaila Bruer at the Child Evidence Lab. She also is currently a Research Assistant for the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) on the PSPNET Families project as well as a Research Assistant and Project Coordinator for the Child Trauma Research Centre. Her research interests include childhood deception, parenting by lying, and children's perceptions of lies.

Manahil Fatima

Clinical Masters Student

Bio coming soon.

Kylee Matravolgyi

Honours Student

Kylee is an undergraduate student completing her B.A. Honours Degree in Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Zanette in the 2024-2025 academic year. She has professional experience working with children ranging in age from 18 months to 12 years from her employment in childcare and is excited to gain research experience as an RA in the summer of 2024. She is interested in research within the broad fields of forensic psychology and developmental psychology specifically focusing on the development and detection of deception, language acquisition in infancy and early childhood, parenting by lying, identifying and implementing evidence-based policing practices and risk management for youths who become involved in the criminal justice system. Upon completion of her degree through the University of Regina, Kylee hopes to attend a graduate program in forensic psychology or law school.

Research Assistants

Skyla Kasick

Skyla is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Regina pursuing a B.A. In Psychology. She plans on applying to the Honours program with future ambitions to obtain a Masters degree in educational psychology. Her current research interests include social psychology and child psychology. 

Avery Taylor

Avery is a second-year student at the University of Regina pursuing a B.A. in Psychology. She is planning on applying to the Honours program and working towards a Masters degree in clinical psychology. Her current interest is child psychology.

Lab Alumni

Honours Students

Manahil Fatima (2023)

Jared Graham (2023)

Winner: Best Presentation, Department of Psychology Annual Honours Symposium

Saman Arif (2022)

Mitacs Interns

Grace Lazell (2023)

Research Volunteers

Raelynne Mills (2022-2023)

Brenna Klatt (2022-2023)

Maija Kiviharju (2022-2023)

Areeba Nasir (2022-2023)