welcome

LauraNiemiPhotoI am Assistant Professor of Social Psychology and Global Justice at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Beginning July 2019, I’m a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Cornell University.

My Applied Moral Psychology lab investigates topics including variability in moral values; how assigning blame and causation matter to well-being; and the social-moral psychology of language. We explore how these topics play out in the real world. This includes investigating legal and medical outcomes in morally complex contexts (see research page for details). Open positions are on the lab page if you’re interested in getting involved. Bio below.

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Before coming to the University of Toronto, I completed a 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, where we worked on projects on causal cognition, moral decision-making, and social epistemology (June 2017 – June 2018).

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

Nothing is more fascinating to me than the psychological processes driving diversity in how people judge each other, make morally relevant decisions, and live out their values.  I conduct research in other areas of psychological science including psychology of the arts and the interface between affect and numeric cognition. Please follow the links if you’re interested.