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Dr Lee Curley

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Professional biography

Dr Lee John Curley graduated with his PhD in June of 2018. He is currently a lecturer in the school of Psychology and Counselling at the Open University. His research interests include forensic cognition, legal psychology and decision science. Lee has a particular interest in how jurors and juries make decisions and the biases that may affect their decision making. During his academic career, Lee has accrued an impressive publication record, published several blogs, written for the press (e.g., Scotsman, The Times and The Conversation), been written about by the press (e.g., The Telegraph and The Times), been interviewed by BBC Radio Scotland, presented his research at international conferences, been invited to discuss his research with well respected legal institutions in Scotland (e.g., the Faculty of Advocates and the Scottish Criminal Bar Association), written a consultation piece and associated policy pamphlet for the Scottish Government, and secured competitive external funding.

Research interests

Broadly my research interests relate to forensic cognition, and more specifically, I am interested in cognitive bias, rationality and decision making. Despite, my previous research being primarily centred on forensic psychology, I am keen to investigate decision processes in other applied environments (i.e. finance, medicine and marketing).

Teaching interests

My main teaching interests relate to cognitive psychology, statistics and experimental design, forensic psychology and individual differences. For more information on teaching interests, please see here: https://oupsychology.wordpress.com/2019/09/01/introducing-new-academics-in-the-school-dr-lee-curley/

 

Impact and engagement

Book chapters: 

1) Curley, L. J. (2023). Juror decision making: the good, the rational, and the biased. In A. Strathie & L. Lazard (Eds.), D120 Encountering Psychology in Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press/Milton Keynes: The Open University.

2)  Curley, L. J., (2021). Juror and jury decision making. In A. J. Turner, C. Hewson, K. Mahendran & A. Strathie (Eds.), Living Psychology: From the Everyday to the Extraordinary (pp.361-394). Oxford: Oxford University Press/Milton Keynes: The Open University.

3)  Curley, L. J. (2017). Decision Making Process of Jurors. In B. Baker, R. Minhas, L. Wilson (eds.), Factbook: Psychology and Law (2nd ed.). Kelowna: European Association of Psychology and Law Student Society.

 

Media-outlet publications:

1) Curley, L. J., & Munro, J. (2023, May 10th). Jurors who believe rape myths contribute to dismal conviction rates – but judge-only trials won’t solve the problem. The Conversation. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/jurors-who-believe-rape-myths-contribute-to-dismal-conviction-rates-but-judge-only-trials-wont-solve-the-problem-205066

2) Curley, L.J., Frumkin, L., & Turner, J., & Munro, J. (2022, July 7th). Not proven and back again: an academics’ tale. The Scottish Legal Society.

3) Curley, L. J., Munro, J., & Dror, I. (2022). Juries are subject to all kinds of biases when it comes to deciding on a trial. The Conversation. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/juries-are-subject-to-all-kinds-of-biases-when-it-comes-to-deciding-on-a-trial-176721

4) Curley, L.J. (2021, 28th November). In Dialogue with Dr Lee Curley about his Talk at the OPRC Launch Event [blog]. Retrieved from: In Dialogue with Dr Lee Curley about his Talk at the OPRC Launch Event – OU Psychology & Counselling (wordpress.com)

5)  Curley, L.J., Munro, J., Frumkin, L., & Turner, J. (2021, May 25th). Reforming Scotland’s unique jury system: why we need to listen to lawyers. The Conversation. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/reforming-scotlands-unique-jury-system-why-we-need-to-listen-to-lawyers-155687 (republished in Scotsman)

6)  Munro, J. & Curley, L.J. (2021, March). Proof and Truth [blog]. Retrieved from: Proof and Truth | Open Justice

7)  Curley, L.J., & Munro, J. (October, 2019). CSI: current research into the impact of bias on crime scene forensics is limited – but psychologists can help. The Conversation. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/csi-current-research-into-the-impact-of-bias-on-crime-scene-forensics-is-limited-but-psychologists-can-help-125467 (Republished on flipboard, yahoo news, Expert Witness Journal, Policing Insight).

8)  Curley, L.J. (2019, September 26th). Artificial Intelligence and rationality as psychological issues [Blog post]. Retrieved from: https://learn1.open.ac.uk/mod/oublog/viewpost.php?post=222540

9)  Curley, L.J. (2019, September 23rd). The Anglo-American jury system: is there another way? [Blog post]. Retrieved from: https://oucriminology.wordpress.com/

10)  Curley, L. J. (2018, December 11th). Scotland’s ‘not proven’ verdict helps juries communicate their belief of guilt when lack of evidence fails to convict. The conversation. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/scotlands-not-proven-verdict-helps-juries-communicate-their-belief-of-guilt-when-lack-of-evidence-fails-to-convict-108286

11)  Curley, L. J. (2018, September 5th). How juror bias can be tackled to ensure fairer trials. The conversation. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/how-juror-bias-can-be-tackled-to-ensure-fairer-trials-100476

12)  Curley, L. J., MacLean, R., & Murray, J. (2017, May 2nd). People make terrible eyewitnesses – but it turns out there’s an exception. The Conversation. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/people-make-terrible-eyewitnesses-but-it-turns-out-theres-an-exception-77033.

13) Curley, L.J. (2017, April 3rd). Decision Making Theory and its Implications for Policing [Blog post]. Retrieved from: https://bscpolicingnetwork.com/2017/04/03/decision-making-theory-and-its-implications-for-policing/. Republished in Policing Insight.

14)  Curley, L. J. (2017, January 18th). To win a Scottish indyref2, yes side must learn lessons of Brexit victory. The Conversation. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/to-win-a-scottish-indyref2-yes-side-must-learn-lessons-of-brexit-victory-71446.

15)  Curley, L. J. (2016, December 1st). Jury still out on merits of the Not Proven verdict. The Scotsman. Retrieved from: http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/jury-still-out-on-merits-of-the-not-proven-verdict-1-4305100.

 

Engagement with the media:

1)  The Telegraph;

2)  Police Professional magazine;

3)  The National;

4)  Evening Telegraph;

5)  The Times: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/scottish-lawyers-want-to-keep-not-proven-verdicts-s7r75djvh;

6)  Scottish Legal News: https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/lawyers-oppose-abolition-of-not-proven-verdict;

7)  Hollyrood: https://www.holyrood.com/news/view,majority-of-legal-profession-would-support-move-to-binary-provennot-proven-verdict-system;

8)  BBC Scotland Radio (discussion on fairness of juries): Radio Scotland - Listen Live - BBC Sounds;

9)  The Scotsman: The case for abolishing the 'not proven' verdict | The Scotsman;

10)  The Herald: THE BIG READ: Is there still a case for Scotland's controversial Not Proven verdict? | HeraldScotland;

11)  Policing insight magazine;

12)  1919 Magazine.

 

Invited Talks and Public Engagement talks:

1)  British Medical Association, Medico-legal Conference (2023);

2)  Research Bites Talk, the Open University (2023);

3)  University of Worcester, jury research day (2022);

4)  Edinburgh Napier University, Psychology Seminar Series (2022);

5)  The Open University, Psychology Seminar Series (2022);

6)  The Scottish Criminal Bar Association, Continued Professional Development Training (2021);

7)  Assize Seminar (cutting edge criminal law) series, I gave an invited commentary on the Scottish Jury Research (2021);

8)  The Open University, Psychology Research Centre Launch (2021);

9)  The Open University, Faculty of Business and Law Seminar Series (2021);

10) The Open University, The Open University in Scotland Seminar Series (2021);

11) The Open University, The Forensic Cognition Research Group Seminar Series (2019);

12) The Open University, The Centre for Policing Research and Learning Seminar Series (2019);

13) The Faculty of Advocates, Seminar Series (2018);

14) The University of Edinburgh, Seminar Series (2018);

15) Edinburgh International Science Festival, The Edinburgh Skeptics Society’s Showcase talks (2018);

16) Barclays bank, Continued Professional Development Training (2017);

17) Edinburgh Napier University Research in Progress Seminar (2016).

 

Conference presentations and non-invited talks:

1)  Curley, L.J., Munro, J., Turner, J., & Frumkin, L. (2023). Informing Reform: An empirical investigation into the utility of the not proven verdict [Conference Presentation]. International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, Sydney, Australia. 

2)  Curley, L.J., Munro, J., Turner, J., Frumkin, L., Jackson, E., & Lages, M. (2022). Proven and not proven: A potential alternative to the current Scottish verdict system [Academic Presentation]. Psychology School Research Away day, Milton Keynes, Great Britain.

3)  Curley, L. J., Breese, B., Munro, J., Havard, H., Skelton, F., & Pike, G. (2022). The effects of contextual bias on facial recognition decisions [Conference Presentation]. 22nd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Malaga, Spain. 

4)  Munro, J., Curley, L.J., Turner, J., & Frumkin, L. (2022). Informing Reform: An empirical investigation into the utility of the not proven verdict [Conference Presentation]. 22nd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Malaga, Spain. 

5)  Frumkin, L., Havard, C., Curley, L.J., & Hagley-Dickinson, L. (2022). The effects of race on juror judgments [Funding Presentation]. The Societal Challenges and Theory of Change Pilot, Milton Keynes, Great Britain.

6)  Curley, L. J., Breese, B., Munro, J., Havard, H., Skelton, F., & Pike, G. (2021), September 21-24). The effects of contextual bias on facial recognition decisions [Conference Presentation]. Annual cognitive Section of the British Psychological Society, online.

7)  Skelton, F., Curley, L. J., Breese, B., Munro, J., Havard, H., & Pike, G. (2021). The effects of contextual bias on facial recognition decisions [Conference Presentation]. Scottish Institute of Policing Research, Applied Cognitive Psychology in Forensic Settings, online.

8)  Curley, L., J. (2017). The bastard verdict. The Annual Postgraduate Conference for the School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University, The Royal Society, Edinburgh.

9)  Curley, L.J., Murray, J., MacLean, R., & Laybourn, P. (2017). The utility of the not proven verdict in Scotland. “Power, Policy and Practice” School Launch for the social sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh.

10) Curley, L.J., Murray, J., MacLean, R., & Laybourn, P. (2017). Is the jury Still out? The decision making strategies of jurors. The International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services (IAFMHS) Conference, Split, Croatia.

11) Curley, L.J. (2017). Faith in thy Threshold. The Postgraduate Forensic Psychology and Criminology Research Network (POPCORN) Conference, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh.

12) Curley, L., J. (2016). Faith in thy threshold. The Annual Postgraduate Conference for the School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University, the Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh.

13) Curley, L.J. (2016). Is the jury Still out? The decision making strategies of jurors. The Postgraduate Forensic Psychology and Criminology Research Network (POPCORN) Conference, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh.

14) Curley, L.J., Murray, J., MacLean, R., & Laybourn, P. (2016). Is the jury Still out? The decision making strategies of jurors. The International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services (IAFMHS) Conference, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, USA.

15) Curley, L.J., Murray, J., MacLean, R., & Laybourn, P. (2016). Is the jury Still out? The decision making strategies of jurors. The International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services (IAFMHS) Conference, The Humanities and Social Sciences in the Digital Age Graduate School Conference, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

16) Curley, L., J. (2015). The Relationship between the big 5 personality traits and eyewitness recognition [poster]. The European Association of Psychology and Law (EAPL) Conference, Nuremberg, Germany (2015).

17) Curley, L., J. (2015). The Relationship between the big 5 personality traits and eyewitness recognition. The Annual Postgraduate Conference for the School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University, The Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.

18) Curley, L., J. (2014). The Relationship between the big 5 personality traits and eyewitness recognition. The British Psychological Society’s Undergraduate Conference, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh.

 

 

Conferences/research events organised:

1) 'Conviction or Acquittal: you decide' (2023). 

2)  The Postgraduate Forensic Psychology and Criminology Research Network (2016; 2017);

3)  The Annual Postgraduate Conference for the School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University (2017);

4)  Social Science School launch at Edinburgh Napier University: “Power, Policy and Practice” (2017).

 

Filmed presentations:

1)  Bilingualism: The foreign language effect does not extend to rational decision making: https://t.co/rwVfKnPzby?amp=1

2)  An empirical investigation into the utility of the not proven verdict: https://www.open.ac.uk/centres/psychology/launch-event-talks/lee-curley

 

External Funding:

1)  The East Lothian Educational Trust;

2)  The Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust;

3)  The McGlashan Charitable Trust;

4)  The Santander Mobility Fund;

5)  The Scottish Ambulance Service;

6)  British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grants Scheme.

External collaborations

1)  The Scottish Ambulance Service;

2)  The University of Glasgow;

3)  Queen's University Belfast;

4)  Manchester Metropolitan University;

5)  Edinburgh Napier University;

6)  University College London;

7)  Bielefeld University.

Publications

The Effect of Verdict System on Juror Decisions: A Quantitative Meta-Analysis (2024)
Jackson, E.; Curley, L. J.; Leverick, F. and Lages, M.
Journal of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law ((Early access))


Are legal experts better decision makers than jurors? A psychological evaluation of the role of juries in the 21st century (2024)
Curley, Lee John and Neuhaus, Till
Journal of Criminal Psychology ((In press))


An Interdisciplinary Re-Perspectivation of the Study of Heuristics, Biases, and Nudges (2023)
Neuhaus, Till and Curley, Lee John
New Trends in Social and Liberal Sciences (NETSOL), 8(2) (pp. 10-27)


Proven and not proven: A potential alternative to the current Scottish verdict system (2022-07-19)
Curley, Lee John; Munro, James; Turner, Jim; Frumkin, Lara A.; Jackson, Elaine and Lages, Martin
Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 40(3) (pp. 452-466)


Verdict spotting: Investigating the effects of juror bias, evidence anchors, and verdict system in jurors (2022)
Curley, Lee; Murray, Jennifer; MacLean, Rory; Munro, James; Lages, Martin; Frumkin, Lara; Laybourn, Phyllis and Brown, David
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 29(3) (pp. 323-344)


Cognitive and human factors in legal layperson decision making: Sources of bias in juror decision making (2022)
Curley, Lee J.; Munro, James and Dror, Itiel E.
Medicine, Science and the Law, 62(3) (pp. 206-215)


The Emergence Of Global Behavioral Public Policy – Developments Of And Within The Nudge Unit (2022)
Neuhaus, Till and Curley, Lee
World Complexity Science Academy Journal, 3(2)


Informing Reform: The views of legal professionals on the unique aspects of Scottish Law (2021)
Curley, Lee; Munro, James; Frumkin, Lara and Turner, Jim
Medicine, Science and the Law, 61(4) (pp. 256-265)


Bilingualism: The foreign language effect does not extend to rational decision making (2020-07)
Curley, Lee J.; Carruthers, Lindsey; Piotrowska, Barbara; Binnie, Daniel and Chamizo Villalta, Adrian
Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis, 17, Article 1(1)


Assessing cognitive bias in forensic decisions: A review and outlook (2020-03)
Curley, Lee J.; Munro, James; Lages, Martin; MacLean, Rory and Murray, Jennifer
Journal of Forensic Sciences, 65(2) (pp. 354-360)


Authors' Response: Is the definition of task-irrelevant contextual information black and white? (2020)
Curley, Lee J.; Munro, James; Lages, Martin; MacLean, Rory and Murray, Jennifer
Journal of Forensic Sciences, 65(2) (pp. 668-670)


An inconvenient truth: More rigorous and ecologically valid research is needed to properly understand cognitive bias in forensic decisions (2020)
Curley, Lee J.; Munro, James and Lages, Martin
Forensic Science International: Synergy, 2 (pp. 107-109)


Author Response: No need for throwing stones – Wherever you live… (2020)
Curley, Lee John; Munro, James and Lages, Martin
Forensic Science International: Synergy, 2 (pp. 705-707)


The bastard verdict and its influence on jurors (2019-12)
Curley, Lee J.; MacLean, Rory; Murray, Jennifer; Laybourn, Phyllis and Brown, David
Medicine, Science and the Law, 59(1) (pp. 26-35)


Threshold point utilisation in juror decision-making (2019)
Curley, Lee J.; MacLean, Rory; Murray, Jennifer; Pollock, Andrew C. and Laybourn, Phyllis
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 26(1) (pp. 110-128)


Decision Science: A New Hope (2018)
Curley, Lee J.; MacLean, Rory; Murray, Jennifer and Laybourn, Phyllis
Psychological Reports, 122(6) (pp. 2417-2439)


Faith in thy threshold (2018)
Curley, Lee J.; Murray, Jennifer; MacLean, Rory; Laybourn, Phyllis and Brown, David
Medicine, Science and the Law, 58(4) (pp. 239-250)


The Relationship between the Big 5 Personality Traits and Eyewitness Recognition (2017)
Curley, Lee J.; MacLean, Rory and Murray, Jennifer
Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis, 13(2)


Are consistent juror decisions related to fast and frugal decision making? Investigating the relationship between juror consistency, decision speed and cue utilisation (2017)
Curley, Lee J.; Murray, Jennifer; MacLean, Rory and Laybourn, Phyllis
Medicine, Science and the Law, 57(4) (pp. 211-219)


Heuristics: The good, the bad, and the biased. What value can bias have for decision makers? (2016)
Curley, Lee J.; Murray, J. and MacLean, R.
Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group Quarterly(100) (pp. 41-44)


Corporate Colonization, Geopolitical Power Struggles, and Hypernudge - How Social Media Engineers Minds (2024-04-15)
Neuhaus, Till and Curley, Lee J.
In: Shei, Chris and Schnell, James eds. Routledge Handbook of Language and Mind Engineering (pp. 169-182)
ISBN : 9781003289746 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


The strengths and limitations of the experimental study of juror and jury decision making (2024)
Curley, L. J. and Peddie, N.
In: Monaghan, N. ed. Challenges in the Jury System: UK Juries in Comparative Perspective ((In Press))
Publisher : Routledge | Published : Oxford


Decision making process of jurors (2017)
Curley, L. J.
In: Baker, B.; Minhas, R. and Wilson, L. eds. Factbook: Psychology and Law (2nd ed.)
ISBN : 9781326989651 | Publisher : Kelowna: European Association of Psychology and Law Student Society