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 social media:

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.

Grace Lazell

Mitacs Intern

Grace is currently completing a Mitacs Global Research Internship at the University of Regina under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Zanette, working on projects aiming to improve our understanding of childhood deception and help inform real-world interventions. Grace is also a student at the University of Nottingham studying for her BSc (Hons) in Psychology. Her primary areas of interest include developmental, social, and clinical psychology. After completing her degree, she hopes to pursue a Master's in the field. Grace is excited to work with the CaSPR lab to extend her knowledge of childhood deception and gain valuable insight into the research process.

Research Volunteers

Saman Arif

Saman graduated from the University of Regina with a B.Sc. Honours in Psychology in 2022. She completed her Honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Zanette, in which she examined the similarities and differences in moral reasoning between children with and without conduct problems. She continues to work alongside Dr. Zanette in order to conduct further analyses of remaining data from her Honours project. Saman's main areas of interest lie within the domain of developmental and abnormal psychology. Within the following years, she aspires to attain a Masters in Counselling Psychology, through which she can move forward to accomplish her goal of becoming a psychologist.

Manahil Fatima

Manahil is a fourth-year student at the University of Regina, pursuing a B.Sc. Honours degree in Psychology. Her primary passion lies in the field of clinical psychology. Her research interests specifically cater to psychological disorders, child psychopathology, chronic illnesses, lying, and deception. Working with a youth-led NPO (CAWI) has assisted her in empowering immigrant women in Canada through advocacy efforts. In her spare time she also volunteers at a clinic, shadowing a family physician. She looks forward to working with the team in the CaSPR Lab to delve deeper into her areas of interest under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Zanette.

Raelynne Mills

Raelynne is a second-year student at the University of Regina pursuing a BA degree in Psychology. She plans to apply to the Honours program next year. Raelynne worked as an artist and entrepreneur for several years before deciding to pursue a career in psychology. She hopes to study experimental psychology at the graduate level after completing her undergraduate degree. Her current research interests include moral development, childhood deception, and parenting by lying. Raelynne is passionate about research in psychology and is thrilled to be a part of the CaSPR lab.

Brenna Klatt

Brenna is in her final year of pursuing a BA in Honours Psychology with a minor in Sociology at the University of Regina. Brenna spends her weekends working with youth seeking treatment for addictions, trauma, mental health concerns, and/or conduct disorders. Her work with these individuals is what inspires her research interests and is also the reason she is so passionate about volunteering with the CASPR lab. Brenna has her sight set on a Master's in Counselling degree in order to further assist these youth. 

Lab Alumni

Former Honours Students

Manahil Fatima (2023)

Jared Graham (2023)

Winner: Best Presentation, Department of Psychology Annual Honours Symposium

Saman Arif (2022)

Former Research Volunteers

Maija Kiviharju (2022-2023)

Areeba Nasir (2022-2023)