The Culture, Cognition, and Law (CC&L) Lab

The Culture, Cognition, and Law (CC&L) Lab

The Culture, Cognition, and Law (CC&L) lab leverages social psychological theory and empirical research methodology to help inform legal scholars’ and policymakers’ understanding of how human psychology affects policy and legal judgment and decision-making. More specifically, we study factors such as cognitive biases, heuristics, and culturally derived cognitive tendencies and their influence on policy and legal decision-making in the areas of torts, criminal law, and family law.

Current broad areas of research interests include:

  • The influence of innate moral perceptions on legal judgments of responsibility and culpability in criminal and tort law.
  • Examining the effect of culturally derived cognitive tendencies such as attributional focus, tightness/looseness, and collectivism on assessments of responsibility and punishment in tort law and criminal law cases.
  • Exploring the influence of environmental factors—such as resource availability—on the psychology of punishment and perceptions of the harsh punishment options including the death penalty.
  • Investigating the effect of cognitive biases and culture on negotiation strategies, settlement, and alternative dispute resolution.

The CC&L lab is under the direction of Dr. Ashley Votruba and is affiliated with the Law-Psychology Program in the Psychology Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For more information about our team, please go to the “People” tab.

Dr. Votruba may accept a graduate student to start in the 2019-2020 academic year. If you are interested in applying and have questions, please email: