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Roseanna Sommers

Harry A. Bigelow Teaching Fellow & Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago
Chapter Member: Chicagoland SSN

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About Roseanna

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.


Are Consent Searches Truly Voluntary?

In the News

Opinion: "Would You Let the Police Search Your Phone?," Roseanna Sommers (with Vanessa K. Bohns), New York Times, April 30, 2019.


"The Voluntariness of Voluntary Consent: Consent Searches and the Psychology of Compliance " (with Vanessa K. Bohns). Yale Law Journal 128, no. 7 (2019): 1962-2033.

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.

"Why Do We Hate Hypocrites? Evidence for a Theory of False Signaling" (with Jillian J. Jordan, Paul Bloom, and David G. Rand). Psychological Science 28, no. 3 (January 2017): 356-368.

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.