Dr. Vredeveldt completed her undergraduate degree at University College Utrecht in The Netherlands, majoring in Psychology, Law and Methods & Statistics. For her Bachelor’s thesis, she conducted research on child witness statements with Prof. Willem Albert Wagenaar, which was published some years later. In 2007, she graduated summa cum laude and won the University College Alumni Association Award for social involvement and academic excellence.
After completing her undergraduate degree, Dr. Vredeveldt obtained her Masters degree in Psychology and Law at Maastricht University in The Netherlands. During her Masters, she conducted a six-month research internship at the University of Otago in New Zealand, studying violent false memories for news about crime. She graduated cum laude in 2008 and received the Top 3% Award, which is awarded to the best 3% of Masters students at Maastricht University.
From New Zealand, Dr. Vredeveldt moved on to the United Kingdom to take up a Ph.D. position with Prof. Alan Baddeley and Prof. Graham Hitch at the University of York. During her Ph.D., she received a Fulbright Visiting Scholarship to go on a three-month research visit to John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, where she worked with Prof. Steve Penrod. Dr. Vredeveldt carried out six experiments on the effects of eye-closure on eyewitness memory and defended her thesis in 2011. The intellectual and practical contributions of her Ph.D. research were recognized in thesis awards from the British Psychological Society – Social Psychology Section and the American Psychology-Law Society.
After obtaining her Ph.D., Dr. Vredeveldt took up a postdoctoral position at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where she worked with Prof. Colin Tredoux. One of the research projects she carried out there was a field study with the South African police, which was funded by the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group in the United States. She collaborated with police interviewers to investigate the effectiveness of the Eye-Closure Interview with real witnesses of serious crimes.
In 2013, Dr. Vredeveldt moved back to The Netherlands to take up a prestigious Branco Weiss Fellowship from Society in Science in Switzerland. She is now an Associate Professor at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at VU University Amsterdam, where she collaborates with Prof. Peter van Koppen. In the past five years, Dr. Vredeveldt has investigated under what circumstances discussion between witnesses may help them remember more, or more accurately. The final project in this research programme is a field study with investigative interviewers in real-life criminal cases, which is currently underway.
Recently, the European Research Council awarded Dr. Vredeveldt an ERC Starting Grant to fund a five-year research programme on eyewitness testimony in cross-cultural contexts. The grant will allow her to appoint two postdocs and two Ph.D. students to help her investigate this important topic. She will start this new research programme in 2019.
In addition to her research, Dr. Vredeveldt gives guest lectures, supervises research students and is course coordinator of Project Reasonable Doubt at VU University Amsterdam. She also regularly appears as an expert witness in criminal cases, and has served on advisory committees of the Netherlands Register of Court Experts, to establish standards and assess applications for registration as an expert witness in the field of Legal Psychology. In 2017, she co-founded the Amsterdam Laboratory for Legal Psychology (ALLP).
Her work has been featured in international outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today and Life Hacker, and in Dutch news outlets such as De Volkskrant, Algemeen Dagblad, De Telegraaf, NOS and Elsevier.