Dr. Sharon Leal
Sharon obtained a first class honours degree in Psychology here at Portsmouth in 2000. The following year she completed a Postgraduate Diploma in research methods before embarking upon PhD research. Her doctoral research was funded by the E.S.R.C 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 her PhD Sharon has received grants from the E.S.R.C. and UK / US governments to work with Aldert Vrij’s research team.
Her current research focuses on the behavioural and physiological effects of cognitive load during deception. This research is very relevant for detecting how people engaged in ‘high stake’ deception respond verbally, non-verbally and physiologically. 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.
During her time at Portsmouth Sharon has also had many teaching duties including delivering lectures on the following units: Quantitative Analysis for Psychology using SPSS; Biological Psychology and Criminological Psychology. She has also been a personal tutor to year 1 and 2 BSc undergraduates.
2002 -2005 PhD (Funded by ESRC studentship- award reference: PTA-030 –2002-00518)
2000 -2001 PGDip, Research Methods (University of Portsmouth)
1997 -2000 BSc (Hons) Psychology, 1st class (University of Portsmouth)
Prizes: The John Dennis Award for best overall student
The Wiley Publishers Award for best overall dissertation
- Leal, S., & Vrij, A. (2008). Blinking during and after lying. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 32, 4, 187 -194.
- Leal, S., Vrij, A., Mann, S., & Fisher, R. (In Press) Detecting true and false opinions: The Devil's Advocate approach as a lie detection aid. Acta Psychologica
- Leal, S., Vrij, A., Mann, S., & Fisher, R. (In Press) Detecting Concealed Information about Person Recognition. Applied Cognitive Psychology.
- Leal, S., Vrij, A., Fisher, R., & van Hoof, J. (2008). The time of the crime: Cognitively induced bodily arousal suppression when lying in a free recall context. Acta Psychologica, 129, 1-7.
- Meijer, E.H., Verschuere, B., Vrij, A., Merckelbach, H., Smulders, F., Leal, S., Ben-Shakhar, G., Granhag, P.A., Gamer, M., Gronau, N., Vossel, G., Crombez, G., & Spence, S. (2009). A call for evidence-based security tools. Open Access Journal of Forensic Psychology, 1, 1-4.
- Vrij, A., Fisher, R., Mann, S., & Leal, S. (2006). Detecting deception by manipulating cognitive load. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 4, 141-142.
- Vrij, A., Fisher, R. P., Mann, S., & Leal, S. (2008). A cognitive load approach to lie detection. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 5, 39-43.
- Vrij, A., Mann, S., Fisher, R., Leal, S., Milne, B., & Bull, R. (2008). Increasing cognitive load to facilitate lie detection: The benefit of recalling an event in reverse order. Law and Human Behavior, 32, 253- 265.
- Vrij, A., Leal, S., Granhag, P. A., Mann, S., Fisher, R. P., Hillman, J., & Sperry, K. (2009). Outsmarting the liars: The benefit of asking unanticipated questions. Law and Human Behavior, 33, 159-166.
- Vrij, A., Mann, S., Leal, S., & Fisher, R. (in press). “Look Into My Eyes”: Can an Instruction to Maintain Eye Contact Facilitate Lie Detection? Psychology, Crime, & Law.
- Vrij, A., Leal, S., Mann, S., Warmelink, L., Granhag, P. A., & Fisher, R. P. (in press). Drawings as an innovative and successful lie detection tool. Applied Cognitive Psychology.
- Vrij, A., Fisher, R., Mann, S., & Leal, S. (2008). Detecting of deception: Cognitive load. (Invited chapter). In B. Cutler (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Psychology and Law (pp. 195-196). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Vrij, A., Leal, S., & Mann, S. (2008). Statement Validity Assessment. In L. Smets & A. Vrij (Eds.) Het analyseren van de geloofwaardigheid van verhoren: Het gebruik van leugendetectiemethoden (pp. 69-79). Gent, Belgium: Politeia.
- Vrij, A., Mann, S., & Leal, S. (2008). Reality Monitoring. In L. Smets & A. Vrij (Eds.) Het analyseren van de geloofwaardigheid van verhoren: Het gebruik van leugendetectiemethoden (pp. 81-84). Gent, Belgium: Politeia.
- Vrij, A., Fisher, R., Mann, S., & Leal, S. (in press). Increasing cognitive load in interviews to detect deceit. (Invited chapter). In B. Milne, S. Savage, & T. Williamson (Eds.), International developments in investigative interviewing. Uffculme: Willian Publishing.
- Vrij, A., Fisher, R., Mann, S., & Leal, S. (in press). Lie detection: Pitfalls and opportunities. (Invited chapter). In D. Lassiter & C. Meissner (Eds.), Interrogations and confessions: Current research, practice and policy. American Psychological Association.
Recent conference presentations
- Leal, S., & Vrij, A. (2007). The time of the crime: Cognitively induced arousal suppression in a free recall context. (invited talk). Off the witness stand: Using psychology in the practice of justice. John Jay College, New York, USA, March 1-3.
- Leal, S., & Vrij, A. (2007). The time of the crime: Cognitively induced arousal suppression in a free recall context. (invited talk). Faculty of Law, Sassari, Italy, September 27.
- Leal, S., & Vrij, A. (2007). The Guilty Knowledge Test (invited talk). University of Bergamo, Law Faculty, Bergamo, Italy, March 7
- Leal, S., Vrij, A., & van Hooff, J. (2007). The truth about blinking? Lies, truths and blink rate during free-recall and GKT interview protocols. The seventh conference of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, US, July 25-29.
- Leal, S., & Vrij, A. (2008).Playing devil’s advocate: discovering the hidden truth. Third International Conference on Investigative Interview. National Police Academy, Nicolet, Quebec, Canada, June 15.
- Leal, S., & Vrij, A. (2008). Truth, lies and blink rate: a guilty knowledge test. EAPLS, Maastricht, Nederlands, July 2-6.