Dr. Leslie van der Leer is a Lecturer in Psychology and teaches an introduction to psychology, as well as specifically in the areas of personality and individual differences, social psychology, research methods, and conceptual and historic issues in psychology.
Leslie completed her BSc (Hons) in Physiology and Cognitive Neuroscience, with minors in Psychology and in Statistics, in the Netherlands. She then completed her MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and her PhD in Psychology in the United Kingdom. During her MSc and PhD, Leslie has worked as a research assistant as well as a teaching assistant on various projects and classes. Leslie has published and presented her work internationally.
2015, Data Analyst, Thomas International
2015, Math teacher, Civitas Schools
2011-2014, Teaching assistant, Royal Holloway, University of London
2011-2012, Research assistant, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
2009-2010, Student assistant, University College Utrecht
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Leslie has taught research methods to BSc undergraduates for three years during her PhD and now teaches Statistics to post-graduates. She is now the module leader for various modules and teaches Foundation in Psychology, Social and Personality Psychology, and Conceptual and Historic Issues in Psychology across the Liberal Studies BA, the Psychology BSc and Psychology MSc programmes.
She is also the pathway leader for Psychology on the BA Liberal Studies
Leslie has successfully supervised BSc and MSc research projects within the areas of social psychology and individual differences.
Leslie is fascinated by how our motivation and desires can distort our judgments, decisions, and behaviour, especially when applied to the self. For example, why do we struggle to accurately represent abilities or beliefs across various domains? In her research, she uses theories and methods from social, cognitive, and evolutionary psychology, as well as behavioural economics. Examples of specific domains she has explored in research include jumping to conclusions, optimism and self-deception, political beliefs, and trust and betrayal.
Tappin, B., Van der Leer, L., McKay, R. (2017, May 27). You’re not going to change your mind. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/27/opinion/sunday/youre-not-going-to-change-your-mind.html?smid=tw-share
Tappin, B., Van der Leer, L., McKay, R. (in press). The heart trumps the head: Desirability bias in political belief revision. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/xge0000298
Van der Leer, L., Hartig, B., Goldmanis, M., & McKay, R. (in press). Why do delusion-prone individuals “jump to conclusions”? An investigation using a non-serial data gathering paradigm. Clinical Psychological Science. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177%2F2167702617698811
Van der Leer, L., & McKay, R. (2017). The optimist within? Selective sampling and self -deception. Consciousness and Cognition.
Van der Leer, L., Hartig, B., Goldmanis, M., & McKay, R. (2015). Delusion-proneness and ‘jumping to conclusions’: Relative and absolute effects. Psychological Medicine, 45(6), 1253-1262.
Van der Leer, L., & McKay, R. (2014). “Jumping-to-conclusions” in delusion-prone participants: An experimental economics approach. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 19(3), p. 257-267.
Burnett Heyes, S., Adam, R. J., Urner, M., van der Leer, L., Bahrami, B., Bays, P. M., & Husain, M. (2012). Impulsivity and rapid decision-making for reward. Frontiers in Psychology, 3(article 153), 1-11.
Brouwer, A.-M., Neerincx, M.A., Kallen, V., van der Leer, L., & ten Brinke, M. (2011). EEG alpha asymmetry, heart rate variability and cortisol in response to Virtual Reality induced stress. Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation, 4(1), 27-40.
Van der Leer, L. & McKay, R. (July, 2016). The optimist within. Talk given at Southampton Symposium on Self and Identity, Southampton, UK.
Van der Leer, L. & McKay, R. (November, 2015). The optimist within. Talk given at CCD Annual Workshop, Sydney, Australia.
Van der Leer, L., Hartig, B., Goldmanis, M., & McKay, R. (September, 2013). Do delusion-prone participants jump to conclusions? Poster presented at the Society for NeuroEconomics Annual Meeting, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Van der Leer, L., Burnett, S., Hensman, D., & Husain, M. (March, 2011) The effects of rewards and risks on decision making. Poster presented at the Queen Square Symposium, London, UK.
HASS Conference Fund (2017), 649GBP, Regent’s University
HASS Research Fund (2017), 592GBP, Regent’s University
College Research Scholarship (2011-2014), Royal Holloway, University of London
Postgraduate Student Study Costs Scheme (2014), 500GBP, University of London
CCD Student Award: Excellence in Research, Publications (2013) 500AUD, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders
CCD Student Award: Excellence in Research, Publications (2014) 500AUD, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders