Assistant professor Psychology

Lab site: Culture, Conflict, and Law Lab

Dr. Votruba joined the UNL psychology faculty as part of the Law-Psychology Program in Fall 2017. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from Arizona State University and her J.D. from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law in 2017. Dr. Votruba also served as a Judicial Clerk for Justice Robert M. Brutinel on the Arizona Supreme Court from 2015-2016.

Dr. Votruba's research examines how cognitive biases, heuristics, and culture influences policy and legal decision-making in the areas of alternative dispute resolution, tort law, criminal law, and family law. For example, some of her past work has examined how culturally-derived lay beliefs affected endorsements of child custody policies. She has also examined how heuristic processing influences the persuasiveness of policy recommendations from expert groups on politically controversial topics. Currently, Dr. Votruba is focused on understanding how psychological factors--such as self-construal--interact with situational factors to influence dispute resolution preferences for civil legal issues.

For more information, please visit the Culture, Conflict, and Law (CC&L) lab website.

Dr. Votruba may accept a graduate student to start in the 2024-2025 academic year. If you are interested in applying and have questions, please email:

Select Publications

Votruba, A. M., & Tisdale, C. N. (in press). Examining Prosecutorial Decision-Making in Plea Bargaining: An Experimental Paradigm in a Community Sample. Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy.

Blankley, K. M., Votruba, A. M., Bartz, L., & PytlikZillig, L. M. (in press). ADR is Not a Household Term: Considering the Ethical and Practical Consequences of the Public’s Lack of Understanding of Mediation and Arbitration. Nebraska Law Review, 99.

Votruba, A. M. (2020). Dividing Responsibility: The Role of the Psychology of Attribution. DePaul Law Review, 69(2), 721-756. 

Votruba, A. M. & Kwan, V. S. Y. (2018). When in Rome think like a Roman: Empirical evidence and implications of temporarily adopting dialectical cognition. In J. Spencer-Rodgers & K. Peng (Eds.), The psychological and cultural foundations of dialectical thinking. Oxford: University Press.

Saks, M.J. & Votruba, A. M. (2015). " . . . and the courts have been utterly ineffective". Judges Journal, 54(3), 28-31.

Votruba, A. M. & Kwan, V. S. Y. (2015). Disagreeing on whether agreement is persuasive: Perceptions of expert group decisions, PLoS ONE, 10(3).

Votruba, A. M., Braver, S. L., Ellman, I. M., & Fabricius, W. V. (2014). Moral intuitions about fault, parenting, and child custody after divorce. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 20(3), 251-262.

Votruba, A. M. & Saks, M. J. (2013). Medical adverse events and malpractice litigation in Arizona: By-the-numbers. Arizona State Law Journal, 45(4), 1537-1561.

Votruba, A. M. (2013). Will the real Reasonable Person please stand up? Using psychology to determine how juries actually understand and apply the reasonable person standard. Arizona State Law Journal, 45(2), 703-732.

Braver, S., Stevenson, M., Votruba, A. M., & Ellman, I. M. (2012). Marriage, Divorce, Child Custody. In N. J. Cabrera & C. S. Tamis-LeMonda (Eds.), Handbook of father involvement: Multidisciplinary perspectives (2nd Edition). New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Braver, S. L., Ellman, I. M., Votruba, A. M., & Fabricius, W. V. (2011). Lay judgments about child custody after divorce. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 17(2), 212-240.