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Roseanna Sommers is a joint degree student pursuing a JD at Yale Law School concurrently with a PhD in social psychology.
Much of Roseanna’s research lies at the intersection of psychology, law, and philosophy. She seeks to understand our intuitive folk theories of morally and legally significant concepts, such as autonomy, free will, consent, and voluntariness. These research interests are informed by the years she spent at the NIH Department of Bioethics, where she worked alongside philosophers, lawyers, doctors, and social scientists to provide ethics consultation services to the broader NIH Clinical Center community.
In a separate line of research, Roseanna seeks to bring behavioral science to matters of law and policy. Her work uses psychological theories such as procedural justice, bounded rationality, implicit bias, and motivated reasoning to illuminate problems in the law. With Jim Greiner and the Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School, she comes up with behaviorally informed interventions designed to make legal processes more navigable to people who do not have lawyers, and tests these interventions in field experiments with the courts.