Deparmental Seminar Series
Abstract: Consistently being believed when lying calls on a constellation of high-level social and cognitive abilities such as working memory, theory of mind, response inhibition, and emotion regulation. It therefore makes sense that such a complex task should be difficult to master and few people describe themselves as skilled liars. Theories of general expertise suggest the old adage is true, that practice makes perfect. But lying is socially unacceptable and multiple studies suggest the majority of people do it very infrequently. So is the skill of lying somehow special? In this seminar I will address the question of whether deceiving frequently makes us better liars as well as discussing some of the challenges and opportunities I have encountered tackling the notoriously noisy data minefield that is deception research. Discussing my PhD journey thus far will help illustrate why I believe that an inclusive approach to methodological choices is essential to make sense of messy, human experience.
Jo is primarily a PhD researcher in the Forensic Psychology Unit at Goldsmiths College, University of London where she is undertaking research to test what elements of verbal, non-verbal and para-verbal communication are key to successful lying and whether it is accurate to conceptualise deception as a consistently present skill. She is also an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths and a Lecturer in Critical Analysis at Birkbeck College. Passionate about advocating for using the best available methodological tool for the job whatever that may be, she often takes a mixed methods approach, integrating qualitative and quantitative techniques in both data collection and analysis.
She holds an M.Sc. in Social Science Research Methods from the London School of Economics, a B.Sc. (Psychology) from Birkbeck College and a B.A. (Comparative Religion and the History of Art) from Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). Although her PhD research is concentrated on the abilities of skilled liars, her recent focus in teaching and public engagement has been increasing awareness and understanding of why torture and coercive methods do not work, and what ethical, science-based alternatives are available for eliciting information. To this end she has given public lectures and spoken on panels and conferences and events and contributed research reviews to the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) ‘What Works’ programme which improves the training and practice of interrogations by law enforcement. Recently she was a House of Lords Roundtable discussant on "The development of guidelines on investigative interviewing and associated safeguards" chaired by Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, QC.
This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Series at the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths. All are welcome to attend, and no tickets are required. Any queries can be directed to Dr Daniel Yon (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dates & times
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