Prof Coral Dando

Prof Coral Dando

I returned to education in 2002 following almost 10 years service as a London Police Officer. I completed a BSc. (Hons) Psychology and a PhD in Applied Forensic Cognition, awarded in 2008. I completed a Post-Doctoral Research post at the University of Leicester concerned with detecting deception using 'scent' trail data, followed by 5 years as a Lecturer at Lancaster University. In 2014 I joined the Institute of Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton as a Reader. In 2016 I moved to the University of Westminster as a Professor of Psychology. 

I am an expert witness, a Health and Care Practitioner Council Consultant Forensic Psychologist (Rg. No. PYL28287), a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist (177597), Chartered Scientist, and Associate Fellow. I am a Restorative Justice practitioner

My area of research is best described as applied social cognition. That is, how complex cognitive processes and associated behaviours - eyewitness memory; decision making; verbal deception; intelligence gathering - are impacted by the social contexts in which they occur. I am concerned with how the environments within which these cognitions occur might be managed and manipulated to best effect. I have a particular interest in forensic and security contexts.


Example Research funding (+ 2.5 Million GBP since 2010)

2020 - Home Office Police STAR Board fund: £89,000. Understanding the impact of county lines: Enhancing investigative methods, sentencing deterrents and evidence based analysis

2019 - University of Westminster Research Communities. £12,953.County lines exploitation: Being a victim and an offender and reintegrating back into society.

2018 - British Academy/Leverhulme £9,947 (with Dr. Donna Taylor) Rapport building in Virtual Environments for information gain. 

2017 – UK MoD for £27,000. Cross-cultural cognition in context.

2016 - US Dept. of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) High Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), for $469,000. Intelligence Interviewing: Controlled Cognitive Engagement, Cross-cultural Persuasion, & Cognitive Style

2016 - Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), for €67,500. Cognition in Context: Applying CCE to amplify behaviour change and detect deception in aviation security settings.

 2014 - UK Development, Science, and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) Research Project Grant for £90,000.  

2012 - Higher Education Academy, Teaching Fellowship Research Grant for £10,000 (for 1 year).

2011 - US Department of Homeland Security, Transport Security and Administration. Research grant for £299,000. Interviewing to detect verbal deception in an aviation security setting.

2012 - Security-Lancaster, research project grant for £1875. Human inference and professional domains in which inference arises as a central task: Decision-making in time-critical environments.

2010 - Centre for the Protection of National Infra Structure (CPNI) project grant for £251,000, Detecting Insider Threats: Techniques, Simulations and Observations (DITTOS).

2010 - EPSRC Pathways to Impact grant. £6000.

2009 - Centre for the Protection of National Infra Structure (CPNI) project grant for £145,000. Controlled Cognitive Engagement: Evaluation of a behaviour based method for aviation screening. With Prof. Tom Ormerod (University of Sussex). 

2009 - Centre for the Protection of National Infra Structure (CPNI) project grant for £722,714.00, Development of FCT and Cognitive Interview methods in Native and Non-native Populations with Prof. Paul Taylor (Lancaster); Dr. Gary Hazlett, Woodard- Cody, Prof. Andy Morgan (Psychiatry, Yale); Dr. Yaron Rabinowitz (Psychology, Texas); Prof. Tom Ormerod (University of Sussex)

 2009 - Higher Education Innovation Fund Grant for £147,000. Disseminating Investigative expertise with Prof. Paul Taylor (Lancaster) & Prof. Tom Ormerod (University of Sussex).

  • Criminal Investigative and Forensic Research - CIFR

In brief

Research areas

Applied Cognition in Forensic and Investigative Contexts: Eyewitness memory; Deception; Persuasion

Skills / expertise

Expert witness - Long term memory; Interviewing; Questioning; Deception , Forensic Interview trainer - Witness and victim interviewing (including older adults, vulnerable adults and children) and Restorative Justice Facilitator

Supervision interests

Verbal deception; Cognition in virtual environments; External support techniques for improving episodic recall; Cross cultural interviewing and Long Term Memory