Department of Psychology


Dr Sharon Leal

  • Qualifications: BSc (Hons), PgDip, PhD
  • Role Title: Senior Research Fellow
  • Address: King Henry Building, King Henry 1st Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2DY
  • Telephone: 023 9284 6638
  • Email:
  • Department: Department of Psychology
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I obtained a first class honours degree in Psychology at the University of Portsmouth in 2000. The following year I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in research methods before embarking upon PhD research. My doctoral research was funded by the ESRC and focused on the Central and Peripheral Physiology of Attention and Cognitive Demand, where multiple physiological responses were examined within the context of varying cognitive demand. Since completing my PhD I have received grants from the ESRC and UK / US governments and currently work as part of Professor Aldert Vrij’s research team.

Teaching Responsibilities

During my time at Portsmouth I have had many teaching duties including delivering lectures on the following units: Quantitative Analysis for Psychology using SPSS; Biological Psychology and Criminological Psychology. I have also been a personal tutor to year 1 and 2 BSc undergraduates.


I am a member of the International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology (ICRFP) within the Department of Psychology.

My 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 . My work involves cooperation with national and international governments and police. I am 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.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile