Barbara Spellman

Spellman, Barbara A

Primary Appointment


Contact Information

UVA School of Law 580 Massie Road
Telephone: 243-4925
Fax: 982-4694

Research Disciplines


Research Interests

Reasoning and decision making

Research Description

<b><i>UNLEASH (Undergraduate Research)</b></i>

We study how people reason and make decisions. These processes have important consequences in everyday life, and we keep an eye towards how they can inform the legal system. Questions we research include: How do people decide who or what caused a bad outcome? Do judges think differently than jurors? What kind of evidence is particularly influential? When do people purely follow the law, and when are they influenced by their own beliefs and morality? Do any of these processes work differently in other cultures?
This small, fun lab seeks dedicated, enthusiastic students. RA duties include gathering materials, running experiments, entering and analyzing data, helping create new studies, and adapting to and managing research issues as they emerge. RAs are expected to attend weekly lab meetings and give a 20-30 minute presentation at one of them. Senior RAs may be given the opportunity to design and run their own studies. Website:

Selected Publications