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Danieli Evans

Yale Law School 2012

Cultural Cognition Project Lab:

With members of the Cultural Cognition Project, I am researching how cultural worldviews impact perceptions of legally consequential facts; and how cultural worldviews impact decisionmakers applying  legal standards designed to guarantee neutrality. We are also researching debiasing methods: techniques to make decisionmakers more open to objectively crediting or considering evidence and interpretations of the law that are threatening to their cultural predispositions.

'They Saw a Protest': Cognitive Illiberalism and the Speech Conduct Distinction: Investigating how subjects' perception and application of neutral constitutional principles - in evaluating a protest as dangerous conduct or protected expression - varied depending upon the congeniality of the subjects' worldviews with the protestors' message.

Self-Affirmations and Debiasing: Studying whether and in what scenarios affirming personal values reduces biased processing - ideologically motivated reluctance to objectively consider or value threatening evidence or behavior. Also investigating the impact of self perceived objectivity on biased processing.

Judicial Opinion Humility: Examining how elements in the tone and tenor of judicial opinons (such as humility - acknowledging the difficulty of a decision and openly considering counter arguments) impact perceived legitimacy of opinions and depolarize subjects who are inclined to disagree with the outcome.

Cultural Cognition and Statutory Interpretation: Investigating the interaction between cultural worldviews and interpretation of statutes, including 'plain meaning' and the use of canons of construction or interpretive methods.

Other law-related activities and research interests:

Student Director, Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic

Research: Civil Rights, Equal Protection, Administrative law, Federal Courts, and Procedure


They Saw a Protest’: Cognitive Illiberalism and the Speech-Conduct Distinction, 64 Stan. L. Rev.
(forthcoming Apr. 2012)(with Dan Kahan, David Hoffman, Donald Braman, & Jeffrey Rachlinski),
available at
Concrete Private Interest in Regulatory Enforcement: Tradable Environmental Rights as a Basis
for Standing
, 29 Yale J. on Reg. (forthcoming Dec. 2011).