Sharon Leal

Senior Research Fellow, University of Portsmouth

Sharon obtained a first class honours degree in Psychology at the University of Portsmouth in 2000 before completing a PGDip in research methods. Her PhD was funded by the ESRC and focused on the physiology of attention and cognitive demand.

Since finishing her PhD, she has worked with Professor Vrij on grants from the ESRC and UK / US governments. Her current research involves interviewing to detect deception, where the main focus is to elicit information and maximise differences between liars and truth tellers’ accounts. This research is very relevant for detecting how people engaged in ‘high stake’ deception respond verbally and non-verbally in a variety of scenarios. Her work involves cooperation with national and international governments and police. She is a member of the European consortium of Psychological Research on Deception Detection (E-prodd). The consortium utilises cutting edge research from laboratories across Europe to optimise the detection of deception in serious crime.

Personal webpage

Recent publications

Ewens, S., Vrij, A., Leal, S., Mann, S., Jo, E., & Fisher, R. P. (in press). The effect of interpreters on eliciting information, cues to deceit and rapport. Legal and Criminological Psychology.
Leal, S., Vrij, A., Warmelink, L., Vernham, Z., & Fisher, R. (2015). You cannot hide your telephone lies: Providing a model statement as an aid to detect deception in insurance telephone calls. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 20, 129-146.
Nahari, G., Leal, S., Vrij, A., & Warmelink, L. (2014). Did somebody see it? Applying the verifiability approach to insurance claims. Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 11(3), 237-243.
Vernham, Z., Vrij, A., Mann, S., Leal, S., & Hillman, J. (2014). Collective interviewing: Eliciting cues to deceit using a turn-taking approach. Psychology, Public Policy and Law, 20, 309-324.
Vrij, A., Leal, S., Mann, S., Vernham, Z., & Brankaert, F. (in press). Translating theory into practice: Evaluating a cognitive lie detection training workshop. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. doi:10.1016/j.jarmac.2015.02.002


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