Dr Lucy Akehurst
Head of Department
My research involves liaison with legal professionals, police officers and social workers. I have investigated numerous issues regarding the detection of deception including nonverbal cues to deceit, the analysis and application of Criteria-Based Content Analysis and the perceptions of people with regard to cues to deceit. I took a two-year PostDoc Research Associate post at the University of Wales, Swansea working on a Leverhulme Trust funded project entitled, 'The influence of sleep loss, personality and confidence on eyewitness suggestibility'. I am currently working on projects including (i) the detection of malingering in the medico-legal setting, (ii) cognitive load as experienced by investigiative interviewers and the effect of cognitive load on interviewers' performance (with Pam Hanway), (iii) training police officers to self-assess their investigative interviews with vulnerable witnesses to mitigate against skills fade and (iv) interviewing to elicit accurate information from pre-school aged children (with Mikaela Magnusson). I am the Head of the Department of Psychology and a Reader in Psychology and Law.
The investigative interviewing of children and vulnerable adults.
Detecting deception, and promoting honesty, in child witnesses.
Detecting malingering in the medico-legal setting.
The analysis and application of Statement Validity Assessment (and more specifically Criteria-Based Content Analysis) as a method for judging credibility in transcripts of investigative interviews.
The lie detection accuracy of lay people, professionals and offenders.
Cues to deceit for vulnerable populations (e.g. children, second language speakers).