Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Hannah Cassidy is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the School of Applied Social Science. Following the completion of her PhD at the University of Portsmouth, she joined the University of Brighton in September 2017. Prior to this, she completed her undergraduate studies in Psychological and Educational Sciences at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium (2009-2012) and a Masters in Forensic Psychology at the University of Portsmouth (2012-2013).

Research interests

I am interested in children being involved in the criminal justice system, whether it be as victims, witnesses or suspects. My PhD research focused on detecting children’s false allegations, but now I place more of an emphasis on understanding how to avoid children’s false denials. Currently, I am very interested in exploring police interviewers’ experiences of interviewing children about abuse and the role that culture plays in their disclosure. Furthermore, I am also interested in how the perceived social acceptability of certain types of lies affect truth/lie decision-making.


My research interests can, therefore, be summarised as Investigative Interviewing, Interviewing Children and Adolescents, Disclosure of Abuse, and the Deception Decision-Making Process.

Approach to teaching

I am the Module Co-ordinator for SS571 Childhood, Psychology & Society. I design and deliver lectures for SS413 Intro to Applied Psychology, SS423 Developmental Psychology, SS556 Psychology of Security, SS571 Childhood, Psychology & Society, SS604 Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Children, and SS628 Forensic Psychology. I am also a Seminar Tutor on SS448 Intro to Psychological Research Methods and SS509 Psychology, Cognition & Social Worlds. Finally, I am a Dissertation Supervisor on SS603 Psychology Dissertation, with my final-year students usually investigating forensic topics.


My goal when teaching is to engage students and to get them excited about the topic we’re discussing. In my lectures and seminars, I like to challenge students’ beliefs about a subject and broaden their understanding. For example, in my lecture on Offender Profiling in the Forensic Psychology module, I have to address the media’s portrayal of offender profiling, through TV and films, and highlight the potential limitations of this investigative approach. This way students can view their favourite TV shows with a more critical eye. I also enjoy incorporating technology into my teaching and getting my students to apply the knowledge discussed in the lecture. This involves creating online quiz games, using video examples, and creating online playlists.


Where possible, I endeavour to integrate my research into my teaching. As an active researcher, I am able to give my students insights into areas of Child Interviewing and Deception that have yet to published! Having worked with police child interviewers, I am also able to demonstrate the applied importance of my research and can highlight potential obstacles that the police face.

Supervisory Interests

I would be very interested in supervising postgraduate students conducting projects on:

  • Child and adolescent discourses surrounding sex in different cultures/countries;
  • Development of telling secrets and lies (decision-making, social context, motivation);
  • Secrets as a social currency in social interaction;
  • Online deception (use of impression management strategies to explore online identity);
  • Challenges facing police who interview child and adolescent victims of abuse;
  • Perceptions of children with sexually harmful behaviour towards other children;
  • Children's understanding of truths/lie and how to promote honesty.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, It’s all in the detail: Examining verbal differences between children’s true and false reports using cognitive lie detection techniques., University of Portsmouth

Award Date: 30 Jan 2017


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