Sommers' research focuses on the ways in which the law misunderstands people and people misunderstand the law. Overarching themes in Sommers' writings include coercion, deception, manipulation, and the use of 'nudges' to affect choices.
In the News
Evaluates the results of laboratory experiments on consent. Finds that almost all subjects handed their phones over to be searched when asked, but far fewer people in a separate sample said they thought such a search was reasonable. Finds limited impact of reading a statement of rights prior to asking to conduct a search.
Analyzes a series of studies on hypocrisy. Finds that people most negatively judge those that condemn moral behavior that they themselves commit, but not those that are honest about their hypocrisy. Finds support for a theory that social hostility to hypocrisy is based on the hypocrite sending false signals about their own behavior.