Lab studies connection between law, psychology

Photo Credit: Law and Policy Lab people
Sat, 03/07/2020 - 14:27

The Law and Policy Lab, headed by psychologist Eve Brank, is a team of graduate and undergraduate researchers that use various psychological theories to investigate different areas of law and public policy—studying the way the law interferes in family and individual decision making.

Corrie and Kaitlyn are two of the undergraduate students who work in the lab.

Corrie is the current manager of the lab. She is a junior double majoring in psychology and sociology and is on the pre-law track. In the future, she hopes to either work as a prosecutor for sex crimes and sex trafficking or go into academia. Some of her day-to-day tasks in the lab include creating the weekly schedules, doing assignments for the graduate students, and helping the research assistants with any questions they may have. One of her favorite parts about the lab is the emphasis on hands-on learning, and that research assistants can incorporate their own interests into the lab work. She enjoys volunteering in the lab and is looking forward to her senior year and the opportunities it will bring!

Kaitlyn is a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in criminal justice and English. She is currently working on UCARE and her senior thesis project in the Law on Policy Lab. Her UCARE research looks at situational factors and Constitutional decision-making. She is planning on attending graduate school for Law Psychology. Kaitlyn enjoys volleyball and spending time with her new puppy.

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Kate, Josh, Emma, and Ana are four current graduate students in the lab.

Kate earned her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in 2018 from Nebraska. She is currently a seventh-year doctoral candidate in the Law-Psychology Program and Social Cognitive Program. Her research examines the psychological and legal constructs of fairness and due process. Kate loves taking road trips with her partner and two dogs.

Josh earned his M.A. in legal studies in 2016 and M.A. in psychology in 2017 from Nebraska. He is in his last year of his Ph.D. in the Law-Psychology program. He is a senior researcher for Scientific Resources for the Law (SRL), and previously served as the business manager and graduate research assistant overseeing SRL. He loves dogs, the Dallas Cowboys, Whataburger, and reminding himself he will one day finish his Ph.D.

Emma is a fourth-year student in the J.D./Ph.D. Law-Psychology and Social Cognitive Program. Her research interests are in the intersection of the Fourth Amendment, privacy, and consent to search decision-making. She is the 2019-2020 Chair-Elect for the American Psychology and Law Society Student Committee. Emma enjoys playing board games, watching Nationals baseball, and is a proud member of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.

Ana earned her M.A. in Social Policy in 2013 from Javeriana University (Bogota-Colombia). She is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Social-Cognitive Program at the Nebraska. She is a Fulbright Scholar from Colombia and her research interests are in the application of restorative justice in the juvenile justice system. She is a Graduate Research Assistant for the Juvenile Justice Institute. Ana enjoys painting, dancing, and hanging out with her husband and friends.

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Eve Brank is the faculty advisor for the lab. Dr. Brank graduated from Nebraska with a JD and a PhD and was a professor at the University of Florida before returning to Nebraska. In addition to working with law-psychology graduate students, Dr. Brank has worked with hundreds of undergraduate students as research assistants (RAs) in her lab during the eleven years she has been a professor here. The RAs in the Law and Policy Lab have the opportunities to do in-lab and real-world data collection. RAs in the lab also regularly attend and present their research at national research conferences. She's always looking for good RAs who are interested in law-psychology research and learning more about law or psychology or both.

In addition to being the faculty advisor for the Law and Policy Lab, Dr. Brank is also the Director of the Center on Children, Families, and the Law.