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The Legal Decision Lab examines legal decisions with a social-cognitive psychological perspective. We are currently working on projects focused on how attributions are made about attorneys, policy decisions, and plea bargaining decisions.

Justice Scale
Image by Element5 Digital
Image by Bill Oxford


The Attorney Team is investigating the interaction between attorneys and the legal system. Our primary questions are how the attorney influences the legal system and how the legal system influences the attorney. We are also collaborating with Dr. Valerie Hans and Dr. Valerie Reyna at Cornell University investigating how attorneys influence civil damage award decisions.


The Policy Team is investigating the social-cognitive psychological factors that influence people's voting decisions. Our primary question is whether victim characteristics influence perceptions of policies.

Publications in Progress


The Plea Team is investigating the social-cognitive psychological factors that influence whether a defendant accepts a plea bargain. Not only has this team conducted controlled research studies with community members, but we have also surveyed actual defendants and attorneys who have made plea bargaining decisions in real life. We are also collaborating with Dr. Valerie Reyna at Cornell University.

Publications in Progress
Research: Research


*denotes student/trainee authors


Hans, V.P, Reed, K., Reyna, V.F., Garavito, D., & Helm, R. (under review). Guiding jurors on damage award decisions: Experimental investigations of approaches based on theory and practice.

Helm, R., Hans, V.P, Reyna, V.F., & Reed, K. (2020). Numeracy in the jury box: Numerical ability, meaningful anchors, and damage award decision making. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 34(2), 434-448.

Reed, K. (2020). The experience of a legal career: Attorneys' impact on the system and the system's impact on attorneys. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 16, 1-25.

Bornstein, B.H., Golding, J.L., Neuschatz, J., Kimbrough, K., Reed, K., Magyarics, C., & Luecht, K. (2017). Mock juror sampling issues in jury simulation research: A meta-analysis. Law & Human Behavior, 41, 13-28. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000223

Reed, K., Bornstein, B. H., Jeon, A. B., & Wylie, L. E. (2016). Problem signs in law school: Fostering attorney well-being early in professional training. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 47, 148-156. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2016.02.019


Reed, K., Franz, A.,* Calderon, V.,* Reyna, V.F., & Meschcow, A.* (under review). Reported experiences with plea bargaining. 

Reed, K. (2019). Calls for speculation: The influence of attorney objections on juror perceptions. Buffalo Law Review, 67, 53-87.

Reed, K., Hans, V.P., & Reyna, V.F. (2019). Accounting for awards: An examination of juror reasoning behind pain and suffering damage award decisions. Denver Law Review, 96, 841-867.

Reed, K. & Bornstein, B.H. (2018). Objection! Psychological perspectives on jurors' perceptions of in-court attorney objections. South Dakota Law Review, 63, 1-43.


Reed, K., Dellapaolera, K.S., Thimsen, S., & Bornstein, B.H. (2018). An empirical analysis of law-psychology journals: Who's publishing and on what? In M. K. Miller & B. H. Bornstein (Eds.), Advances in Psychology and Law (vol. 3). New York, NY: Springer Science Business Media.

Reed, K., & Bornstein, B. H. (2015). Using mock jury studies to measure community sentiment toward child sexual abusers. In M. K. Miller, J.A. Blumenthal, & J. Chamberlain (Eds.), Handbook of community sentiment (pp. 57-68). New York, NY: Springer Science Business Media.

Reed, K., & Bornstein, B. H. (2013). A stressful profession: The experience of attorneys. In M.K. Miller & B.H. Bornstein (Eds.), Trauma, stress, and wellbeing in the legal system (pp. 217-244). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


Reed, K. (2018). Trial, interrupted: Juror perceptions of attorney objections. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.

Reed, K. & Bornstein, B. H. (2017). Grounds for relief: The implications of attorney distress for the legal system. Nebraska Lawyer.

Reed, K., & Bornstein, B.H. (2015). Juries, joinder, and justice. The Jury Expert, 27(3), 1-7.

Reed, K. (2015). Culpable by association: Juror decision making in joined civil cases (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.

Wiener, R.L., Reed, K., Delgado, R.H., & Caldwell, A.D. (2014). Validation study of the LS/CMI assessment tool in Nebraska (Research Report July 2014).

Reed, K. (2010). Hot or not? The influence of attorney attractiveness and gender on juror decision-making (Unpublished undergraduate thesis). Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA.

Research: List
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