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Vanessa Cheung

I am a PhD student in the Causal Cognition Lab under the supervision of Prof. David Lagnado. My research is in moral and legal reasoning, focusing on the role of moral character in blame attribution. My work explores how people evaluate an agent’s character in moral scenarios, how they use it to draw inferences about mental states and intentions, and the mechanism by which this ultimately affects their judgments of blame, causal responsibility, and desire to punish wrongdoers. In addition, I also investigate how people make judgments in legal contexts. I am interested in how inferences about a defendant’s character and mental states (such as foreseeability, agency, and knowledge) can mitigate or exacerbate blame and influence how mock jurors reason about evidence.

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