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Professor’s global impact rewarded

Expert in separating truth from lies: Professor Aldert Vrij

Expert in separating truth from lies: Professor Aldert Vrij

A professor who has influenced how police, intelligence officers, the military and insurance companies worldwide decide if someone is telling the truth has won a prestigious award.

Aldert Vrij, professor of applied social psychology at the University of Portsmouth, has been awarded the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group’s Tom Williamson Award in recognition of his outstanding lifetime achievement to the area of investigative interviewing.

The award is given to a person who, during their career, has distinguished themselves in an exceptional way and in a way which promotes the search for truth and respects fundamental human rights.

From the outset, Professor Vrij’s work challenged the myths often associated with deception detection. Specifically, he refutes that liars can be spotted by watching their non-verbal communication.

Professor Vrij, of the Department of Psychology and a world-leading authority on the science of deception, pioneered instead a cognitive approach to detecting deception which is now widely used.

Over 25 years in the field, he has about 500 publications, including book chapters and books. His book, Detecting Lies and Deceit, is in its second edition and available in numerous languages, including Chinese and Russian; he has been awarded over £4.5m of funding, including from British Research Councils, the FBI, the High value detainee Interrogation Group and the American, British, Dutch and Singaporean governments; he is a member of the European consortium of Psychological Research on Deception Detection, and leads the Information Elicitation programme of the UK Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (otherwise known as CREST).

Professor Vrij also manages a large team of researchers and PhD students at the University of Portsmouth, ensuring the future of high quality evidence-based inquiry and practice in the field of deception detection.

He said: “I am only able to do this work because I have an excellent team of researchers around me here at the University of Portsmouth, particularly my two long-term collaborators Dr Samantha Mann and Dr Sharon Leal. I am also grateful to the many sponsors we had over the years, without their generous support this work would not have been possible.”

1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. congratulations! I am glad to have taken part as a volunteer and wish you every success, Professor Vrij.

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