I graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 1997 with a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology, in which my final year project, which examined the behaviour of a serial killer when he lied and told the truth, was the start of my career in researching deceit and deception detection, and also working with Aldert Vrij who supervised my project. The findings of this project were published in 2001 in Applied Cognitive Psychology, and I continued this line of research by embarking on a PhD (funded by the ESRC) which involved analysing the behaviour of high-stake liars and truth-tellers, specifically examining videos of suspects in their police interviews. I then showed clips of these suspects to police officers to see if they could tell when the suspects were lying or truth-telling. I was awarded my PhD in 2001.
After a couple of years in research posts outside academia I returned to Portsmouth in 2003 as a Research Associate to embark on a 3-year ESRC project with Vrij on enhancing deception detection through increasing cognitive load in interview situations, one element of which was the development of the reverse order technique to aid deception detection. I am currently a Senior Research Fellow, and since the above mentioned project, have worked on several others to develop and train in techniques to detect deceit in interview situations. These have mostly been funded by UK and US Governments and the EPSRC. I have some 80 publications, a selection of which are below.
I am a member of the International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology (ICRFP) within the Department of Psychology.
My current research interests have moved on from nonverbal deceptive behaviour to developing methods to enhance interview situations and questioning in order to facilitate deception detection. In addition I am on an MRes supervisory team for a project which investigates dogs’ ability to detect deceit.