Hi! Thanks for visiting my website.
I am a Bigelow Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Prior to coming to Chicago, I completed a JD and a PhD in Psychology at Yale, where I worked primarily with Tom Tyler, Gideon Yaffe, and Josh Knobe. I was fortunate to have Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, Paul Bloom, and John Bargh serve on my dissertation committee.
Much of my research lies at the intersection of psychology, law, and philosophy. I seek to understand our intuitive folk theories of morally and legally salient concepts, such as consent, autonomy, and moral responsibility. I am interested in questions like: When is it that we see people's actions as stemming from them, and consequently see fit to hold them to their choices? How do we think about interferences to autonomy, such as coercion, deception, manipulation, and "nudging"? Relatedly, I study intuitive judgments about punishment, including victim-blaming and counterfactual reasoning.
My research is part of a new field called experimental jurisprudence, which is best described as the legal corollary to experimental philosophy. Just as experimental philosophy borrows empirical methods from the social sciences to study and critique the intuitions behind traditional analytic philosophy, experimental jurisprudence uses techniques from psychology and cognitive science to clarify core concepts in the law. These concepts include intention, causation, harm, knowledge, responsibility, and (now) consent.
In addition to my interest in experimental jurisprudence, I have a separate line of research that seeks to bring behavioral science to matters of law and policy. With Jim Greiner and the Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School, I devise behaviorally informed interventions designed to make legal processes more navigable to the vast majority of people who do not have lawyers, and test these interventions in the field using randomized controlled trials. I am also a columnist at Behavioral Scientist, and from 2016-2017 was a visiting research fellow at the Behavioral Insights Group at Harvard.
I earned my B.A. from Swarthmore College, where I studied social psychology under Barry Schwartz. My senior thesis, which examined moralizing attitudes toward self-control, was evaluated by outside examiners Dov Cohen and Adam Grant.
After college, I served as a predoctoral research fellow at the NIH Bioethics Department in Bethesda, Maryland. Everything I believe about consent comes from my time working alongside philosophers, lawyers, doctors, and social scientists to provide real-time ethics consultation to the world's largest research hospital, the NIH Clinical Center.