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Dr Lucy Akehurst

Interim Head of Department

Lucy Akehurst


I graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a BSc (Hons) Psychology degree and commenced research for a PhD programme (HEFCE funded). My PhD research involved liaison with legal professionals, police officers and social workers. Five empirical studies 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 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'. In 1997 I joined the Department of Psychology at Portsmouth as a member of academic staff. I am currently the Associate Head for Innovation for the Department of Psychology. I sit on the Science Faculty's Research and Innovation Committee and Innovation Leads Committee and the Department of Psychology's Executive Committee.

Research Interests

The investigative interviewing of children and vulnerable adults.

Detecting malingering in the medico-legal setting.

Detecting deception in child witnesses.

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).

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