Photo of Kevin Nunes

Kevin Nunes


Degrees:Ph.D. (University of Ottawa)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 1545
Office:A537 Loeb Building
Website:The Aggressive Cognitions and Behaviour Research Lab

Research Interests

The 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.

Research projects planned for the next few years will focus on attitudes toward non-sexual violence in online studies with large samples of men from the general public. In these projects, we will continue to develop, evaluate, and refine measures; explore the relationship between attitudes and other cognitive constructs; and test the extent to which attitudes influence violent behaviour.

Some of our current collaborators are Liam Ennis (University of Alberta), Lee Fabrigar (Queen’s University), Chantal Hermann (Ministry of the Solicitor General of Ontario), Zoe Hilton (Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care), Sandy Jung (MacEwan University), and John Zelenski (Carleton University).

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

Some Recent Publications (student co-authors in bold)

Nunes, K. L., Pedneault, C. I., & Hermann, C. A. (2021). The Evaluation of Violence Questionnaire (EVQ): Development and validity of a self-report measure of evaluative attitudes toward violence. Psychology of Violence. Advance online publication.

Nunes, K. L., Prescott, D. S., Ennis, L., & Kepros, L. R. (2021). Different perspectives on (un)certainty: Challenges, standards, and strategies. Journal of Sexual Aggression. Advance online publication.

Pedneault, C. I., Hilgard, J., Pettersen, C., Hermann, C. A., White, K., & Nunes, K. L. (2021). How well do indirect measures assess sexual interest in children? A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Advance online publication.

Pham, A. T., Nunes, K. L., Maimone, S., & Hermann, C. A. (2021). How accurately can researchers measure criminal history, sexual deviance, and risk of sexual recidivism from self-report information alone? Journal of Sexual Aggression, 27, 106-119.

Hilton, N. Z., Pham, A. T., Jung, S., Nunes, K., & Ennis, L. (2021). Risk scores and reliability of the SARA, SARA-V3, B-SAFER, and ODARA among intimate partner violence (IPV) cases referred for threat assessment. Police Practice and Research, 22, 157-172.

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.

Pedneault, C., Hermann, C. A., & Nunes, K. L. (2020). Disentangling cognitions about sexual aggression. Sexual Abuse. Advance online publication.

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.

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, 25, 219-236.

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

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., 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., 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

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

Brown, S., Serin, R., Forth, A., Nunes, K., Bennell, C., & Pozzulo, J. (2017). Psychology of criminal behaviour: A Canadian perspective (2nd ed.). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Pearson.