Laura Niemi, P.I. of the Applied Moral Psychology Lab, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, & Management and Organizations, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University


Niemi’s Applied Moral Psychology Lab combines methodologies from cognitive science, psychology of language, and social psychology to examine the psychological underpinnings of human morality and investigate how methods and findings from moral psychology research can be applied to address social issues. Her research has received funding from the National Science Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; Cornell Center for Social Sciences; the Templeton Foundation; the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General; and the Harvard Fund for Research on Foundations of Human Behavior. Niemi teaches Work and Well-Being, Psychology of Good and Evil, and Moral Psychology in Action.


May 2022: Moral Psychology in Action Read about some of the work of the spring ’22 students in our New community engagement course (AEM/PSYCH 4940): psychology.cornell.edu/news/students-tackle-community-projects-moral-psychology-course
May 2022: Fellowship awarded CCSS Faculty Fellowship Awarded to Laura Niemi for 2022 – 2023.
May 2022: Fellowships awarded Congratulations to CHase Agheli, Bridget Lee, and Alex Myers for being awarded the Cornell Psychology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (Psych-SURF)! The Diversity Committee launched the inaugural Psych-SURF program in 2019 to increase accessibility of research opportunities for underrepresented students in psychology through paid research internships.
April 2022: Conference Talk Congratulations to Ivy Gilbert for presenting a talk at the Society for Linguistic Anthropology Conference: “An ecolinguistic analysis of dairy-industry discourse on Instagram.”
April 2022: Fellowship awarded $5,000 Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Awarded to Laura Niemi: “Moral Psychology in Action” Cornell University.
April 2022: Fellowship awarded congratulations to Sarah Milliron for being awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! Research Proposal: “Moral Reframing of Sexual Assault Testimonies.”
March 2022: Scholars Program Acceptances congratulations to Chineme Ewenike and Julia Papp for their acceptances into the Nexus Scholars Program! This program in the College of Arts & Sciences provides undergraduate students with paid summer opportunities to work side by side with faculty from all across the college (humanities, social sciences, and STEM) on their research projects.
Dec 2021: Conference Talk “Measuring the Moral Mind?” FALL 2021 PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH CONFERENCE, UMASS DARTMOUTH, MA.
NEW MINOR IN MORAL PSYCHOLOGY! “New moral psychology minor takes on challenging questions” Launching Spring 2022 at Cornell University. Learn more: moral psychology minor.
NEW COURSES IN MORAL PSYCHOLOGY! TWO NEW COURSES SPRING 2022: Moral Psychology in Action (Community EngagEment Course, AEM 4940) & Conversations in Moral Psychology (Discussion-Based Course, PSYCH 1200).
Working Group grant 2021 $500 Qualitative & Interpretive Research Institute Working Group Project Funding Award for “Political Phenomenology” with U. Abulof; J. Lasky; S. Le Penne, Cornell University.
OCT 2021: ACCEPTED Symposium SPSP Annual Convention 2022 “Features not bugs: Statistical, emotional, and causal ingredients to moral cognition” with J. Wylie; J. Rhee; D. Bostyn. Feb 2022.
OCT 2021: ACCEPTED POSTER A major congratulations to Isobel Munday whose poster was accepted to the meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Feb 2022! Poster Title: “Hedge your bets: Should I be effective or appropriate?”
OCT 2021: ACCEPTED POSTER A major congratulations to Madhulika Shastry whose poster was accepted to the meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Feb 2022! Poster title: “The power of TikTok? Exploring the effect of online video formats on social-moral evaluation of victims.”
OCT 2021: Colloquium “Principled or personal? Moral values and causal attribution.” Basic and Applied Science Psychology, colloquium, CUNY Graduate Center, NY, Virtual.
OCT 1, 2021: SPSP Freeform Friday “Is it Burnout?” A conversation about the psychological and structural components of burnout, including loss of meaning, control, and resources. We’ll identify how burnout manifests in the research lab, classroom, and other areas of work life, and talk about simple ways to refuel. Host: L. Niemi https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4eabae29a2f4cf8-spsp5.
Aug 2-5, 2021: Talk at SPSSI L. Niemi: “Moral divides in language and cognition” 2021 Virtual Conference “Changing the System” at the Society for the Psychological Studies of Social Issues (SPSSI). click to read the Abstract.
APRil 26, 2021: ACCEPTED POSTER A major congratulations to Isobel Munday whose poster was accepted to the virtual 2021 meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology!
April 23, 2021 Laura Niemi participates in College-wide Panel on “Morality, Psychology and Business.” Cornell University, hosted by Dr. Ravi Kanbar, Economics.
Research grant 2021 $12,000 Cornell Center for Social Sciences, Research Incubation Grant Awarded to Laura Niemi: “Civility as a Contextualized Social Psychological Phenomenon” Cornell University.
STUDYING Why and how people judge each other, decide what is right or wrong, and make morally relevant choices.


My graduate training was at Boston College in Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience. I received my Ph.D. in 2015, for research on moral values advised by Dr. Liane Young at the Morality Lab.


I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University (2015 – 2017) with advisors Dr. Steven Pinker and Dr. Jesse Snedeker. I conducted an interdisciplinary project called The Psycholinguistics of Morality.

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I completed a second postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong in the Department of Philosophy and Dr. Felipe De Brigard in the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. I worked on projects on causal cognition, moral decision-making, and social epistemology (June 2017 – June 2018).


I completed my first year (2018-2019) as a professor in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Social Psychology and Global Affairs. I started the Applied Moral Psychology Lab. I was Visiting Professor in Psychology from 2019-2020 at Cornell University.


I began a tenure-track Assistant Professor position at Cornell University in July 2020 in the Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences & in Management and Organizations, Dyson School, SC Johnson College of Business.