Photo of Kevin Nunes

Kevin Nunes

Phone:613-520-2600 x 1545
Office:A537 Loeb Building
Website:The Aggressive Cognitions and Behaviour Research Lab


I am a Professor and Director of the Aggressive Cognitions and Behaviour Research (ACBR) Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University. I received my BA Honours in Psychology from Concordia University and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Ottawa.

Research Interests

The main focus of research in the Aggressive Cognitions and Behaviour Research (ACBR) Laboratory is on the conceptualization and measurement of cognitions (e.g., attitudes) thought to be relevant to violent behaviour, and the role these cognitions may play in violent behaviour. Our main goal is to contribute to scientific knowledge about the causes of violence, which is the foundation of effective and efficient assessment and intervention aimed at managing and reducing violence.

In our research we have most often used cross-sectional, retrospective, and longitudinal non-experimental designs, as well as the occasional randomized experiment. Our studies have been conducted online, in the lab, federal and provincial prisons, and forensic psychiatric hospitals. Most of our projects have involved collecting data directly from participants (students, people in the community, inmates, or patients), but we also sometimes use archival datasets or conduct meta-analytic reviews of the literature. Our work has been funded by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and awards from Carleton University.

Some of our current collaborators are Franca Cortoni (Criminology, Université de Montréal), Liam Ennis (University of Alberta), Chantal Hermann (Ministry of the Solicitor General of Ontario), Tamsin Higgs (Criminology, Université de Montréal), Zoe Hilton (Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care), Sandy Jung (MacEwan University), and Ian McPhail (University of Saskatchewan).

For more information about people and projects in the ACBR lab, please see our website:

Recent Publications (student co-authors in bold):

Hilton, N. Z., Pham, A. T., Jung, S., Nunes, K. L., & Ennis, L. (2020). Risk scores and reliability of the SARA, SARAV3, B-SAFER, and ODARA among intimate partner violence (IPV) cases referred for threat assessment. Police Practice and Research. Advance online publication.

Nunes, K. L., Hermann, C. A., Maimone, S., Atlas, M., & Grant, B. A. (2020). The Violent Behavior Vignette Questionnaire (VBVQ): A measure of violent behavior for research in forensic and non-forensic settings and populations. Psychological Reports. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0033294120939308

Pedneault, C. I., Nunes, K. L., Hermann, C. A., & White, K. (2020). Evaluative attitudes may explain the link between injunctive norms and sexual aggression. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication.

Pham, A. T., Nunes, K. L., Maimone, S., & Hermann, C. A. (2020). How accurately can researchers measure criminal history, sexual deviance, and risk of sexual recidivism from self-report information alone? Journal of Sexual Aggression. Advance online publication.

Higgs, T., Olver, M. E., Nunes, K. L., & Cortoni, F. (2020). Risk relevance of psychometric assessment and evaluator ratings of dynamic risk factors in high-risk violent offenders. Legal and Criminological Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12173

Pettersen, C., Nunes, K. L., Kostiuk, N., Jung, S., & Atlas, M. (2020). Explicit and implicit self-esteem, narcissism, and recidivism risk in a sample of men who have sexually offended against children. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49, 1319-1332. doi: 10.1007/s10508-019-01598-6

McPhail, I. V., Hermann, C. A., Fernane, S., Fernandez, Y. M., Nunes, K. L., & Cantor, J. M. (2019). Validity in phallometric testing for sexual interests in children: A meta-analytic review. Assessment, 26, 535-551. doi: 10.1177/1073191117706

Higgs, T., Cortoni, F., & Nunes, K. L. (2019). Reducing violence risk? Some positive recidivism outcomes for Canadian treated high-risk offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 46, 359-373. doi: 10.1177/0093854818808830

Nunes, K. L., Pedneault, C., Filleter, W. E., Maimone, S., Blank, C., & Atlas, M. (2019). “I know correlation doesn’t prove causation, but…”: Are we jumping to unfounded conclusions about the causes of sexual offending? Sexual Abuse, 31, 220-236. doi: 10.1177/1079063217729156

McPhail, I. V., Nunes, K. L., Hermann, C. A., Sewell, R., Peacock, E., Looman, J., & Fernandez, Y. (2018). Emotional congruence with children: Are implicit and explicit child-like self-concept and attitude towards children associated with sexual offending against children? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47, 2241-2254. doi: 10.1007/s10508-018-1288-2

Blank, C., Nunes, K. L., Maimone, S., Hermann, C. A., & McPhail, I. V. (2018). Is childhood sexual victimization associated with beliefs regarding sexual offending, self-esteem, narcissism, and emotional congruence with children? Journal of Sexual Aggression, 24, 259-273. doi: 10.1080/13552600.2018.1509574

Hermann, C. A., & Nunes, K. L. (2018). Implicit and explicit evaluations of sexual aggression predict subsequent sexually aggressive behavior in a sample of community men. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 30, 510-532. doi: 10.1177/1079063216682952

Hermann, C. A., Nunes, K. L., & Maimone, S. (2018). Examining implicit and explicit evaluations of sexual aggression and sexually aggressive behavior in men recruited online. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 30,484-509. doi: 10.1177/1079063216681560

Pettersen, C., Nunes, K. L., & Cortoni, F. (2018). The factor structure of the Aggression Questionnaire with violent offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62, 1888-1905. doi:10.1177/0306624X17691242

Nunes, K. L., Hermann, C. A., White, K., Pettersen, C., & Bumby, K. (2018). Attitude may be everything, but is everything an attitude? Cognitive distortions may not be evaluations of rape. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 30, 43-62. doi: 10.1177/1079063215625489