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Department of Psychology



  • 2012-        : Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2012-        : Lecturer in Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, UK
  • 2011-2012: Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, University of Bedfordshire, UK
  • 2010-2011: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2010: PhD in Psychology: University of Warwick, UK
  • 2006: MA in Psychology of Excellence: Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany

2003: BSc in Psychology: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (Part of my BSc I completed as a visiting student at the University of Konstanz in Germany). 


Research interests:

Currently, my research interests follow three threads:

  • Psychology and Law. Broadly, I am interested in the causes that lead to wrongful convictions and in particular in the circumstances under which eyewitness misidentifications are likely to occur. My research, designed in collaboration with various police forces across the UK, focuses on improving police lineup procedures for suspects with distinguishing features. I am also interested in the influences of facial distinctiveness on jurors’ evaluations of defendants.
  • Positive Emotions. In this line of research, I am investigating the effects of positive emotions. In particular I am investigating whether awe-inspiring experiences, often seen as offering only hedonistic, short-term pleasure, can have the potential for long-term positive effects on intrapersonal and interpersonal well being.
  • Embodied Cognition. In this line of research I am looking into how bodily states affect our judgment and decision-making processes especially as applied to legal contexts. Research has shown that people intuitively associate physical states with abstract concepts, feelings, and perceptions, often reflected in everyday language (e.g., feeling “up” for feeling good and feeling “down” for feeling bad). Following this line of research, I am currently investigating whether certain verbal expressions have an embodied basis and as such are linked to specific sensorimotor experiences.


Key publications: 

Zarkadi, T., & Schnall, S. (2013). “Black and white” thinking: Visual contrast polarizes moral judgment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 355-359.

Zarkadi, T., Wade, K. A., & Stewart, N. (2009). Creating fair lineups for suspects with distinctive features. Psychological Science, 20, 1448-1453.

Selected research coverage in international press:

Times Higher Education. January 2013. Colouring the argument.

Times of India. December 2012. Black and white colours affect our judgment.

Daily Mail. December 2012. No grey areas: Seeing the colours black and white can actually lead to more extreme views.

CNBC. December 2012. Black and white can lead you to make extreme judgments.

New Scientist. May, 2012. Judge Mental: How bias affects judicial sentences.

Affiliated Lecturer
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