I hold BA (2005) and MA (2012) degrees in Psychology from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. In my MA project, I studied the impact of interviewers’ feedback on eyewitness identification decisions.
At the time, I was interested in the fields of psychology and law, so I decided to pursue my PhD studies in legal psychology which combines both interests. But eyewitness research was not enough for me; I also wanted to conduct research on lie detection and explore techniques that would enhance police officers’ ability to detect lies.
I joined the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Programme (EMJD) in Legal Psychology in September 2014. I am based at the University of Portsmouth where I am lucky to have a highly supportive and experienced supervisory team: Dr. Aldert Vrij, Dr. Lorraine Hope, and Dr. Samantha Mann. My host university is the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) where I spent six months during the Fall 2016 under the supervision of yet two experts in legal psychology, namely Dr. Pär Anders Granhag and Dr. Leif Strömwall.
My thesis project examines various interviewing techniques that may be used in forensic contexts to detect deceit in repeated interviewing. More specifically, I study how statement consistency may be used to elicit cues to deceit. Research has demonstrated that statements of liars and truth-tellers are-to a certain extent- similarly consistent unless the interviewer actively manipulates the interview. We examine these manipulations by asking questions in a different format across interviews, using unexpected report modes (drawings), and matching pairs’ consistency on false opinions. Between-statement consistency and statement-evidence consistency show promising results in correctly classifying liars and truth-tellers.