CREST Roundup: July 2019

CREST roundup july 2019

This is a roundup of what CREST has been up to in July 2019. You can stay up-to-date with all our work by signing up to the CREST Newsletter, and have CREST news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Early Career Researchers On Security Threats

Read about the innovative applied research being undertaken by Early Career Researchers on Security Threats.

We’re proud of the range and quality of all the research CREST carries out to help understand, mitigate and counter security threats to the UK. But we’re especially excited about the new cohort of researchers that we’re developing.

Over the next few months we’ll be publishing new and updated blogs from our CREST funded doctoral researchers. This month we’ve published two blogs to come from our Eliciting Information programme:

Increasing Self-Disclosure in Interviews
Third year doctoral researcher Christina Winters explains how interview context and interpersonal tactics can produce more information about job candidates in sensitive roles. Read about Christina’s research here.

Is nonverbal mimicry an important tool in eliciting information?
First year doctoral researcher Abbie Maroño is investigating the effects of interpersonal closeness on nonverbal mimicry during face-to-face interactions. Read about Abbie’s research here.

You can read all the blogs in the ECR series here:

New research projects

Two new projects addressing security threats faced by the UK have been announced:

The Adaptable Law Enforcement Officer: Developing a Measure of Adaptive Effectiveness

This project, led by Dr Simon Oleszkiewicz (University of Twente, Netherlands), in collaboration with Erik Mac Giolla (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) aims to develop a behavioural measure of adaptability relevant for police contexts.

To examine adaptive behaviour, Oleszkiewicz’s team have developed a novel experimental set-up inspired by observations of the training at the Los Angeles Police Department.

In Experiment 1, university students will take the role of an ‘agent’ that has to complete three ‘undercover missions’. Adaptive behaviour will be elicited by three features: a goal, an expectation, and a violation of that expectation. This violation creates the novel or unexpected situation that participants must adapt to in order to attain their mission objective. Adaptability will be measured as the adjustments made in response to the changed situational demand.

Experiment 2 will be a vignette study to examine perceptions of the adaptive responses. A sample of practitioners with relevant experiences will watch a number of video recordings of adaptive responses from Experiment 1 and rate the efficacy in attaining mission objectives.

You can read more about Oleszkiewicz’s project here.

Human Engagement Through Artificial / Augmented Intelligence

This project is led by Professor Chris Baber (School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham) teaming with Ian Apperly (School of Psychology, University of Birmingham) and is the latest project to be awarded funding from CREST’s recent commissioning call.

Baber’s project looks at ‘Augmented intelligence’ and how it can extend human cognitive ability. The capabilities of Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI / ML) for exploring vast data resources and discovering patterns, exceeds that of the human. However the human’s expertise will allow insight into unusual or unfamiliar patterns. The project therefore focuses on the need to ensure collaboration in pursuit of sense-making.

This requires that the AI is able to explain itself to the human, that the human can provide explanation to the AI, and that human-AI engagement progresses through the establishment and maintenance of common ground.

Not only is it important that humans and automation establish and use common ground, but also that humans who communicate through the automation have this. The project asks how common ground might breakdown in order to explore consequences and mitigations.

You can read more about Baber’s project here.

To see all the 2019 CREST commissioned projects go to:

More projects to come…

Watch this space as the other successful projects (subject to contracts being finalised) will be announced very soon. Follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn, or sign up to our newsletter, to keep updated.

Out and about

Presentations and awards

Ben Lee presented to Society of Terrorism Researchers annual conference at the University of Oslo 20-21 June: Keyboard Warriors: Digital Organisation and Right Wing Extremism. He also presented to the Terrorism and Social Media Conference at Swansea University 25-26 June: Blame Game: Responses to Militant Jihadism in the Extreme Right Digital Milieu co-authored with Kim Knott.

Kim Knott gave a paper on ‘Analysing religious learning: a framework and case study’ at the annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions in Tartu, Estonia, in June 2019. She was also elected President of the association, for a three-year term from January 2020.

Joel Busher presented CREST-funded research on the internal brakes on violent escalation at the Council for European Studies conference in Madrid, as part of the Radicalism and Violence Network. In May, he also gave a guest lecture based on the same research at the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo.

Kirk Luther was award the 2019 European Association of Psychology and Law (EAPL) Early Career Award.


Ben Lee, Countering Violent Extremism Online: The Experiences of Informal Counter Messaging Actors, Policy and Internet. Available at:

He also has a paper ‘Far-Right Overview’ published by the Government Commission on Countering Extremism.

Jasjit Singh, Racialisation, ‘religious violence’ and radicalisation: the persistence of narratives of ‘Sikh extremism’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Available at:

Downloaded the free CSR app!

CREST Security Review has a new website and a mobile app to further broaden the way people can engage with its content.
The free app, available on both IOS and Android platforms provides a number of features:

  • Intuitive navigation – making it easy to browse issues and articles of interest.
  • Offline access – read articles or whole issues by bookmarking them to read later.
  • Search and discover – navigate easily to the topics that interest you most as well as be alerted when new items are added.
  • Favourite articles – our synced bookmark feature allows you to conveniently store all your favourite CSR articles in one place, for you to access later via any of your devices.
  • Responsive design – you can read CSR on your mobile, iPad, Android tablet or desktop, meaning you no longer must download the pdf (although that option is still available).
  • New issue alerts – opt in for notifications and you’ll be the first to know when the latest issue arrives.

Alongside the mobile application, a new website at gives CSR its own home, making it easier to access, read and share articles. Favourites and bookmarks are synced with the application.

Download now:
Find the free mobile app on your app stores, or via this link at:
Access the new website direct at, and keep an eye out for our next issue, coming soon.

We want to know what you think! Do let us know what you think of our new app and website by emailing us at:


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