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Mr. Neil Shortland, Individual Differences, Best Researcher Award

Neil Shortland at University of Massachusetts Lowell, United States


Neil Shortland is an Associate Professor at the School of Criminology and Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he also serves as the Director of the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies. With a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Liverpool, his research spans decision-making under stress, military psychology, and counterterrorism. He has held several esteemed positions and contributed significantly to his field through extensive research, publications, and teaching.

Professional Profile:


Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology, Center for Critical and Major Incident Psychology, University of Liverpool (2017)

MSc in Forensic and Investigative Psychology, University of Liverpool (2011)

  • Distinction and awarded Top Performance on MSc Psychology

BSc in Psychology, University of Bristol (2010)

  • First Class Honors

Professional Experience:

Academic Positions:

Neil Shortland is currently an Associate Professor at the School of Criminology and Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell, a position he has held since Fall 2021. Prior to this, he served as an Assistant Professor in the same department from Fall 2017 to Spring 2021. Since Fall 2017, he has also been the Director of the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at UMass Lowell, leading various research initiatives and projects. His academic journey at UMass Lowell began as a Visiting Faculty Lecturer from 2015 to 2017, after which he became the Program Manager and Senior Research Associate at the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies, a role he held from 2013 to 2015. Additionally, Neil was a Research Associate at the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at The Pennsylvania State University from 2012 to 2013.

Applied Research Positions:

In his applied research career, Neil worked as a Cognitive Psychologist at the Home Team Behavioral Sciences Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore, in 2015. He also served as a Research Psychologist at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory for the UK Ministry of Defense from 2011 to 2012. Earlier, he gained experience as a Social Science Researcher with the Kent Public Protection Crime Unit during an academic placement in 2011.

Research Interest:

Neil Shortland’s research primarily focuses on decision-making under stress, military psychology, terrorism, and counterterrorism. His work examines the cognitive processes involved in critical incident decision-making, the psychological impacts of terrorism and security policies, and the development of effective counter-extremism strategies.

Publications Top Noted:Ā 

Why they leave: An analysis of terrorist disengagement events from eighty-seven autobiographical accounts

  • MB Altier, E Leonard Boyle, ND Shortland, JG Horgan
  • Security Studies 26 (2), 305-332, 2017
  • Citation Count: 172

Walking away: The disengagement and de-radicalization of a violent right-wing extremist

  • J Horgan, MB Altier, N Shortland, M Taylor
  • Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression 9 (2), 63-77, 2017
  • Citation Count: 138

Actions speak louder than words: A behavioral analysis of 183 individuals convicted for terrorist offenses in the United States from 1995 to 2012

  • J Horgan, N Shortland, S Abbasciano, S Walsh
  • Journal of Forensic Sciences 61 (5), 1228-1237, 2016
  • Citation Count: 80

Recruitment and selection in violent extremist organizations: Exploring what industrial and organizational psychology might contribute

  • ST Hunter, ND Shortland, MP Crayne, GS Ligon
  • American Psychologist 72 (3), 242, 2017
  • Citation Count: 59

Youth exposure to hate in the online space: An exploratory analysis

  • N Harriman, N Shortland, M Su, T Cote, MA Testa, E Savoia
  • International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17 (22), 8531, 2020
  • Citation Count: 56
Neil Shortland | Individual Differences | Best Researcher Award

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