Program Committee

The scientific committee of Decepticon 2015: International Conference on Deceptive Behavior exists of 19 top deception researchers from different disciplines and sub-disciplines, including psychology, law, behavioral economy, computing, security, anthropology and philosophy. In addition to their research, the majority of committee members also work closely together with practitioners and policy makers, such as police forces, Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, government departments, research councils, and several members regularly act as an expert witness in court. 


Ross Anderson, University of Cambridge 

Ross Anderson is professor of security engineering at Cambridge University and a Fellow of the Royal Society. His research has spanned a variety of subjects from cryptology and security protocols, through the reliability of real-world security systems, to the economics and psychology of security. He is currently the principal investigator on a research project in the deterrence of deception in socio-technical systems, collaborating with Aldert Vrij, Peter Robinson, Frank Stajano, Michelle Baddeley, Angela Sasse and Jeff Yan on how we can dissuade people from cheating and lying – and what this teaches us about ourselves.


Dan Ariely, Duke University

Dan Ariely is a Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. His interest in deception has led to a series of papers disentangling factors that influence people’s inner conflict between wanting to benefit as much as possible from behaving dishonestly, while still being able to look at themselves in the mirror. In addition to appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Economics, and the school of Medicine at Duke University, Ariely is also a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty.


Judee Burgoon, University of Arizona

Judee Burgoon is a Professor at the University of Arizona and is the Director of Human Communication Research for the Center for the Management of Information. She has authored or co-authored seven books and monographs and over 240 articles, chapters and reviews related to nonverbal and relational communication, interpersonal relationships, the impact of new communication technologies on human-human and human-computer interaction, research methods, and public opinion toward the media. Her research, which currently centers on deception, trust, interpersonal interaction, and new technologies, has been supported by extramural funding from the Department of Defence, the Department of Homeland Security, the U. S. Army Research Institute's Research and Advanced Concepts Office, the U. S. Army Research Office, the National Institutes of Mental Health, Gannett Foundation, Gannett Co., Inc., and Associated Press Managing Editors, among others.


Mark Frank, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Mark G. Frank is a professor at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Cornell University, and afterward he received a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health to do postdoctoral research in the Psychiatry Department at the University of California at San Francisco Medical School. His work has focused on facial expressions, emotion, interpersonal deception, and also violence in extremist groups; work funded by The National Science Foundation, US Department of Homeland Security, and the US Department of Defense. He is also the co-developer of a patented automated computer system to read facial expressions. He has lectured and consulted with virtually all US Federal Law Enforcement/Intelligence Agencies, as well as local/state and select foreign agencies. He is also one of the original members and Senior Fellow of the FBI Behavioral Science Unit’s Terrorism Research and Analysis Project. He has presented briefings on deception and counter-terrorism to the US Congress as well as the US National Academies of Sciences.


Giorgio Ganis, Plymouth University

Giorgio Ganis is currently a Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience at the School of Psychology at the University of Plymouth (UK) and maintains his affiliation with the Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). His research interests include the neural basis of cognitive control processes in social and visual cognition, with an emphasis on deception production and perception processes. For nearly two decades, he has been pursuing these interests using the tools of psychology and cognitive neuroscience (behaviour, ERPs, TMS, fMRI, NIRS).


Pär-Anders Granhag, University of Gothenburg

Pär-Anders Granhag is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg, and a visiting Professor at the Norwegian Police University College. He is also the current president of the European Association of Psychology and Law (EAPL). His research activities build on cognitive psychology; in particular human judgment, decision-making, social cognition, memory and meta-memory. Since the early 90’s he has conducted research on Legal and Investigative Psychology, with a special interest in children’s and adults’ eyewitness testimony, interview techniques and interrogation tactics, deception detection, psychology in criminal investigations and psychology in the courtroom.


Jeff Hancock, Cornell University

Jeffrey Hancock is a Professor in the Communications and Information Science departments at Cornell University and is the Co-Chair of the Information Science department. He is interested in social interactions mediated by information and communication technology, with an emphasis on how people produce and understand language in these contexts. His research has focused on two types of language, verbal irony and deception, and on a number of cognitive and social psychological factors affected by online communication. 


Charles Honts, Boise State University

Charles R. Honts, Ph. D., is Professor of Psychology at Boise State University. Professor Honts continues a 34-year long research program that focuses on applying psychological science to real world problems. He is internationally recognized as one of the world's top experts on credibility assessment. Professor Honts has published and/or presented more than 300 scientific papers on deception detection and was co-editor on the recently published book Credibility Assessment. He has also published and given expert testimony in the areas of interrogation and false confession, eyewitness identification, and the forensic interviewing of children. His current research is focusing on two areas: Improving the standardization and criterion validity of the comparison question test for psychophysiological deception detection and interrogation, confession and false confession phenomena in real world contexts. In addition, Professor Honts is frequently invited to lecture in a number of domestic and international venues, and he frequently appears in courts around the world as an expert witness. Professor Honts was the President of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association for the 2005-2006 term.


Nicholas Humphrey, Darwin College, University of Cambridge

Nicholas Humphrey is a theoretical psychologist, based in Cambridge, who is known for his work on the evolution of human intelligence and consciousness. He studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey in Rwanda, he was the first to demonstrate the existence of "blindsight" after brain damage in monkeys, he proposed the celebrated theory of the "social function of intellect", and he is the only  evolutionary psychologist to have tackled the so-called "hard problem of consciousness". In his books Consciousness Regained and The Inner Eye he discussed deception as an evolved adaptation. In Leaps of Faith he explored why and how people fall for the false promises of superstition and religion.


Saul Kassin, Williams College

Saul Kassin is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Currently, he is in a phased retirement as Massachusetts Professor of Psychology from Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Kassin pioneered the scientific study of false confessions by creating a taxonomy of three types that is widely accepted and developing experimental paradigms that enable tests of why innocent people are targeted for interrogation and why they confess. He is also interested in “forensic confirmation biases” and the impact that confessions have on judges, juries, lay witnesses, and forensic examiners. Interested in matters of policy and reform, some of his research is funded by the National Science foundation.


Timothy R. Levine, University of Alabama Birmingham and Korea University

Timothy Levine is Distinguished Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at University of Alabama Birmingham and Professor of Communication and Media at Korea University. His teaching and research interests include interpersonal communication, persuasion and social influence, cross-cultural communication, and social scientific research methods. Dr. Levine has been studying deception and deception detection for more than 20 years.  He is the author or co-author of Truth-Default Theory, The Veracity Effect, and The Park-Levine Probability Model of Deception Detection.  His current work focuses on effective interrogation strategies and the believability of individuals. He recently edited The Encyclopaedia of Deception, Vol. 1 & 2 (Sage, 2014) and a special of Journal of Language and Social Psychology on Deception Theory (Sept., 2014).


Christian Meissner, Iowa State University

Christian Meissner is Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive & Behavioral Science from Florida State University (2001) and conducts empirical studies on the psychological processes underlying investigative interviews, including issues surrounding eyewitness recall and identification, deception detection, and interrogations and confessions. He has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He has served on advisory panels for the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and currently serves on the editorial board of several prominent academic journals. 


Harald Merckelbach, Maastricht University

Harald Merckelbach is a Professor of Psychology, and the former dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences at Maastricht University. Merckelbach often serves as an expert witness in court. Apart from lie detection, his research interests are memory aberrations and how they bear relevance to the domains of psychopathology (e.g., PTSD) and law (e.g., offenders who claim dissociative amnesia). Merckelbach found that although claims of amnesia or pseudo-memories can be authentic, sometimes they are simulated. Such false claims are a form of malingering, which is a close cousin of lying, and he addresses these issues in healthy, clinical and forensic samples. 


Steve Porter, The University of British Columbia 

Dr. Stephen Porter received his Ph.D. in forensic psychology at UBC and currently is a researcher and consultant in the area of psychology and law. After working as a prison psychologist, Dr. Porter spent a decade as a professor at Dalhousie. In 2009, he transferred to UBC Okanagan, where he assumed a position as a professor of psychology and the Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science & Law (CAPSL). Dr. Porter has published numerous scholarly articles on psychopathy and violent behaviour, deception detection, and forensic aspects of memory. As a registered forensic psychologist in British Columbia, Dr. Porter is frequently consulted by Canadian courts and has been qualified as an expert witness in various areas, including "dangerousness and risk for violence" and "memory and the factors involved in credibility assessments". He has been consulted by police in serious crime investigations and provides training in deception detection and psychopathy to law enforcement, mental health professional groups, government agencies, journalists, trial judges, and other adjudicators.


Peter Robinson, University of Cambridge

Peter Robinson is Professor of Computer Technology in the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, where he leads the Rainbow Research Group working on computer graphics and interaction.  His research concerns problems at the boundary between people and computers.  This involves investigating new technologies to enhance communication between computers and their users, and new applications to exploit these technologies.  He has led work for 20 years on the use of video and paper as part of the user interface, developing augmented environments in which everyday objects acquire computational properties through user interfaces based on video projection and digital cameras. Recent work has explored socially and emotionally adept technologies, leading investigations of the inference of people's mental states from facial expressions, vocal nuances, body posture and gesture, and other physiological signals, and also considered the expression of emotions by robots and cartoon avatars.


Paul J. Taylor, Lancaster University and University of Twente

Paul Taylor is a Professor of Psychology at Lancaster University and University of Twente. He also edits legal and criminological psychology, and directs Security Lancaster, a University-wide centre of excellence comprising approximately 60 staff and the latest in research and training facilities. Taylor studies deception as part of an interaction process, examining both aspects of interpersonal behaviour (e.g., mimicry) and moderators of such behaviour (e.g., culture). He has developed a number of technologies to help researchers (and practitioners) examine such issues. He is also fortunate to supervise excellent PhD students who make the very best conference organisers (e.g., Sophie!).


Robert Trivers, Rutgers University

Robert Trivers is a Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University. Trivers has spent his career studying social theory in all organisms. His theories regarding parental investment, reciprocal altruism, the sex ratio at birth and parent-offspring conflict have been very influential in a number of fields. In 2006 he published (with Austin Burt) the first book reviewing all cases of internal genetic conflict in all species (except bacteria and viruses), and in 2011 he published a book giving the first scientific theory for why we practice self-deception, The Folly of Fools: the Logic of Deceit and Self-deception in Human Life.


Sophie Van Der Zee, University of Cambridge

Sophie Van Der Zee is a post-doctoral researcher in the Security Group at the University of Cambridge, with honorary fellowships at King's College, Cambridge, and the University of Cumbria. Her research is focused on the use of technology to assist in both the detection and the prevention of deception. For example, Van Der Zee used two full-body motion-capture systems to measure not just how the suspect’s behavior changes when lying, but also how lying affects the interactional dynamics between interviewer and suspect. Currently, she is working on the more fundamental question of why and under which circumstances people lie. By combining knowledge and methodology derived from social & cognitive psychology and behavioral economy she is trying to disentangle which factors contribute to a person’s decision to lie, and if this information can subsequently be used to deter people from lying. 


Bruno Verschuere, University of Amsterdam

Bruno Verschuere is Associate Professor of Forensic Psychology at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). He is also affiliated to Ghent University (Belgium) and Maastricht University (The Netherlands). His main research focuses on memory detection, the cognitive dynamics of deception, and the possibility to use reaction times to detect lies, both offline and on the web. He is a founding member of the European consortium of Psychological Research on Deception Detection (EPRODD). Together with Gershon Ben-Shakhar and Ewout Meijer, he has edited Memory Detection: Theory and application of the concealed information test.


Aldert Vrij,  University of Portsmouth

Aldert Vrij is Professor of Applied Social Psychology, University of Portsmouth (UK). His main research interests are (non)verbal correlates of deception and people’s ability to detect deceit, resulting in more than 450 publications. He received grants from British Research Councils, Trusts and Foundations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Dutch, British and American Governments. He works closely with practitioners (police, security services and insurers) in terms of conducting research and disseminating it’s findings. His 2008 book Detecting lies and deceit: Pitfalls and opportunities is a comprehensive overview of research into (non)verbal and physiological deception and lie detection.

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