Beth Richardson

Dr. Beth Helen Richardson

Lecturer in Experimental Social Psychology

School of Psychology


+44 (0) 1772 89 3753

Subject Areas: Social Cognition and Forensic Psychology

Beth’s teaching and research interests overlap in the areas of social cognition and forensic psychology, where she explores the mechanistic underpinnings of social behaviour within a broad integrative framework. Beth’s research focuses on behavioural mimicry and forms of human cooperation, in particular, how potential deficiencies in communication can be used to understand these processes. In her research, Beth has explored the impact of unconscious communication through the importance of our social and cultural schemas and has examined communication as a strategic behaviour through focusing on processes of priming and disruption. Her research has strong impact in its emphasis on communication as a diagnostic tool, for example in lie detection and information gathering.

Research Group: Forensic, Attention and Distraction

Full Profile

Beth graduated from the University of Stirling in 2008 with a First Class honours degree in Psychology, followed by an MSc in Psychological Research Methods in 2009. She started her PhD at Lancaster University in 2009 supervised by Prof. Paul J. Taylor. Beth’s PhD examined the moderating influence of power and context on verbal mimicry and the potential for certain circumstances to engender cooperation, particularly in the arena of negotiation and police interview.

In 2012, Beth started as a post-doctoral researcher at Lancaster University where she ran lab-based experiments to test language priming as a cue to deception. Following this, she worked as A Research Fellow in the Institute of Emotions, Credibility and Deception research at UCLan, before beginning her lectureship in 2015.

Her research interests span social and forensic psychology, with a focus on social signals (most notably language style matching), behavioural disruption (processes of distraction and repair) and cooperation. She typically addresses these issues in face-to-face interactions and has a particular interest in situations where communication is difficult. For example, she has explored effective techniques for eliciting confession during police interrogations with colleagues at Lancaster and Memorial University, Canada and is interested in how interpersonal dynamics can impact cues to deceit. Beth is particularly interested in how verbal mimicry can work to either facilitate or impede these types of interactions. More recently, she has specialized in training verbal mimicry and its ability to be used strategically.

Current Projects include ‘Behavioural Disruption and Repair’ with Dr McCulloch, Lancaster; ‘Interpersonal Cues to Deceit’ with Dr Van der Zee, Cambridge and ‘Cyber-Defence: Automating the Extraction and Evaluation of Interpersonal Behaviours that Identify Legitimate Insiders’ with Professor Taylor, Lancaster. These projects draw on both internal and external funding. In addition, Beth has an interest in the link between verbal and non-verbal forms of mimicry; the cognitive processes (e.g. auditory distraction and influence) associated with lies and their detection with Marsh, UCLan and; the use of technology to asses and measure social behaviour.


Linkenauger, S.A., Geuss, M.N, Stefanucci, J.K., Leyrer, M., Richardson, B.H., Proffitt, D.R., Bulthoff, H.H., & Mohler, B.J (2014). Evidence for Hand-Size Constancy: Perceived Hand Size is less Susceptible to Optical Magnification. Psychological Science.

Richardson, B.H, Taylor, P.J., Snook, B., Conchie, S.M., & Bennell, C. (2014). Language Style Matching and Confessions in Police Interrogations. Law and Human Behaviour, 38(4), 357.

Richardson, B., & Taylor, P.J. (forthcoming). Getting in Step: The role of synchrony in negotiation. Negotiation Journal.

Gillespie, A., & Richardson, B. (2011). Exchanging Social Positions: Enhancing Intersubjective coordination within a joint task. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 608-616.


Member of the European Association of Law and Psychology

Member of the Investigative Interviewing Research Group

Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society

Member of the Society for Applied Research into Memory and Cognition

Book Review Editor for the Social Section, BPS


Beth teaches on the Interaction Strategies module on the new MSc in Emotions, Credibility and Deception.

External Activities

Book Review Editor for the BPS, Social Section.


Current Research Interests include:

  • Using technology to asses behaviour in real time
  • Language priming and alignment (in relation to cooperation and false memory)
  • Self Regulation and Control: Behavioural disruption and its subsequent repair
  • Team performance and groups
  • Cross Model models of Mimicry
  • Investigative Interviewing (in particularly the interpersonal dynamic)
  • Human Cooperation and information exchange

There are many projects under above research activities. If you would like more details, or would like to help out as a voluntary research assistant, please

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Richardson, B., & Taylor, P.J. (2013, September). The Effect of Priming on Linguistic Cues to Deception. Presentation at the European Association of Psychology and Law, Coventry, UK.

Richardson, B., & Taylor, P.J., Nicholson, S., Walton, C. (2013, August). Encouraging Cooperation: Language Mimicry as a Strategic Social Tool. Presentation at the British Psychology Society Social Section, Exeter, UK.

Richardson, B., & Taylor, P.J. (2013, June). Interpersonal Behaviour and Interviewee Cooperation. Presentation at The Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Richardson, B., Taylor, P.J., Snook, B., Conchie, S., & Bennell, C. (2012, November). Verbal Dynamics of Police Interaction. Presentation at the American Criminology Society Conference, Chicago, USA.

Richardson, B., Taylor, P.J., Snook, B., Bennell, C., & Conchie, S. (2012, April). Linguistic Mimicry in Police Interviews. Presentation at the annual conference of the European Association of Psychology and Law, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Richardson, B., & Taylor, P.J. (2011, August). Is Linguistic Style Matching an Effective Interpersonal Tool? Presentation at the Investigative Expertise Unit Annual Meeting, Enschede, Netherlands.

Taylor, P.J., Morgan, C., Hazlett, G., Hamlin, I., & Richardson, B. (2011, June). Beyond error: Using Individual differences to enhance lie detection. Presentation at the annual meeting of the Division of Forensic Psychology, Portsmouth, U.K.

Richardson, B., & Gillespie, A. (2010, October). Exchanging Social Positions: Enhancing Intersubjective Coordination within a Joint Task. Symposium Presentation at the annual conference of the Dialogical Self, Athens, Greece.

Richardson, B., & Gillespie, A (2009, June). Cooperation and the Exchange of Social Positions. Presentation at the annual conference of Social Psychology, London School of Economics, U.K.

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