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Personal profile

Research interests


Dr. Sophie van der Zee has a multi-disciplinary background in psychology, economics, and computer science. She combines this multi-disciplinary background in a double position as assistant professor at the Erasmus School of Economics and at the Erasmus School of Law. At the law faculty, Sophie is the director of the Centre for the Law and Economics of Cyber Security (CLECS). In this research centre, researchers from a variety of backgrounds together study how legislation, economic incentives, and human behaviour affects cyber security. At the economics faculty, Sophie is the academic director of the MSc Behavioural Economics.

Sophie is specialised in the prevention and detection of deception and dishonest behaviour, both in a face-to-face and online setting. She developed a method for automatically measuring human behavior using motion capture equipment and applied this method to the context of deception detection. She also developed the first personalized deception detection model based on the tweets of former US president Donald Trump. A relevant application area of her research concerns the human factor in cyber, where she investigated how scammers persuade their potential victims, how people put themselves at risk by noncompliance with online banking regulations, and why people do not report cybercrime victimization. In her most recent study, she investigates to which extent cyber awareness questionnaires are a useful tool for predicting real world cyber secure behaviour.

Sophie actively brings deception researchers across the world together. Together with Vincent Denault, she founded the Deception Research Society. This society organises two types of events. They organise Decepticon, the first interdisciplinary conference on deception. Previous conferences have taken place at the University of Cambridge (UK), Stanford (US), and online. And every first Tuesday of the month, they organise Lies and Allies’ Tuesdays, a free webinar where deception researchers and practitioners from around the world share the latest insights and knowledge.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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