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Sommers, Roseanna

Assistant Professor of Law

3070 Jeffries Hall

Professor Roseanna Sommers's teaching and research interests revolve around the many ways in which the law misunderstands people and people misunderstand the law. As a psychologist, she seeks to document people's intuitions about legal concepts such as consent, autonomy, and moral responsibility. Her work is part of a growing interdisciplinary field known as "experimental jurisprudence," which borrows empirical techniques from the social sciences to clarify core concepts in the law.

Professor Sommers's work asks questions like: How do people determine whether someone is acting voluntarily? How do we think about interferences to autonomy, such as coercion, deception, incapacity, and manipulation? Are our legal doctrines defensible in light of empirical insights from the social and cognitive sciences? She is currently co-leading a study funded by the National Science Foundation that examines the psychology of compliance.

Professor Sommers received her JD and PhD in Psychology from Yale. She received a BA In Psychology, with honors, from Swarthmore College. Prior to joining the Michigan Law faculty, she served as a Harry A. Bigelow Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, where she founded the Psychology and Law Studies Lab.

Professor Sommers's CV.

Recent Publications

"Consumer Psychology and the Problem of Fine Print Fraud." Co-authored by Meirav Furth-Matzkin. Stan. L. Rev. 72, no. 3 (2020): 503-60.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | SSRN | WWW

"Commonsense Consent."Commonsense Consent." Yale L. J. 129, no. 8 (2020): 2232-324.
Full Text: SSRN

"The Voluntariness of Voluntary Consent: Consent Searches and the Psychology of Compliance." Vanessa K.Bohns, co-author. Yale L. J. 128, no. 7 (2019): 1962-2033.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | WWW

"Why Do We Hate Hypocrites? Evidence for a Theory of False Signaling." Jillian J. Jordan, Paul Bloom, and David G. Rand, co-authors. Psychol. Sci. 28, no. 3 (2017): 356-68.

"Exploring Public Attitudes Toward Approaches to Discussing Costs in the Clinical Encounter." Marion Danis, Jean Logan, Beverly Weidmer, Shirley Chen, Susan Goold, Steven Pearson, Greer Donley, and Elizabeth McGlynn, co-authors. J. Internal Med. 29, no. 1 (2014): 223-9.

"Forgoing Debriefing in Deceptive Research: Is it Ever Ethical?" Franklin G. Miller, co-author. Ethics & Behavior 23, no. 2 (2013): 98-116

"Focus Groups Highlight That Many Patients Object To Clinicians' Focusing On Costs." Susan Dorr Goold, Elizabeth A. McGlynn, Steven D. Pearson, and Marion Danis, co-authors. Health Aff. 32, no. 2 (2013): 338-46.

"Affective Forecasting and Well-Being." Barry Schwartz, co-author. In Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Psychology, edited by Daniel Reisberg, 704-23. Oxford University Press, 2013.