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Laura Niemi
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
  1. A counterfactual explanation for the action effect in causal judgment.Paul Henne, Laura Niemi, Ángel Pinillos, Felipe De Brigard & Joshua Knobe - 2019 - Cognition 190 (C):157-164.
    People’s causal judgments are susceptible to the action effect, whereby they judge actions to be more causal than inactions. We offer a new explanation for this effect, the counterfactual explanation: people judge actions to be more causal than inactions because they are more inclined to consider the counterfactual alternatives to actions than to consider counterfactual alternatives to inactions. Experiment 1a conceptually replicates the original action effect for causal judgments. Experiment 1b confirms a novel prediction of the new explanation, the reverse (...)
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  2.  26
    Who attributes what to whom? Moral values and relational context shape causal attribution to the person or the situation.Laura Niemi, John M. Doris & Jesse Graham - 2023 - Cognition 232 (C):105332.
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  3.  9
    It's Not the Flu: Popular Perceptions of the Impact of COVID-19 in the U.S.Laura Niemi, Kevin M. Kniffin & John M. Doris - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Messaging from U.S. authorities about COVID-19 has been widely divergent. This research aims to clarify popular perceptions of the COVID-19 threat and its effects on victims. In four studies with over 4,100 U.S. participants, we consistently found that people perceive the threat of COVID-19 to be substantially greater than that of several other causes of death to which it has recently been compared, including the seasonal flu and automobile accidents. Participants were less willing to help COVID-19 victims, who they considered (...)
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  4.  33
    The emotional impact of baseless discrediting of knowledge: An empirical investigation of epistemic injustice.Laura Niemi, Natalia Washington, Clifford Workman, de Brigard Felipe & Migdalia Arcila-Valenzuela - 2024 - Acta Psychologica 244.
    According to theoretical work on epistemic injustice, baseless discrediting of the knowledge of people with marginalized social identities is a central driver of prejudice and discrimination. Discrediting of knowledge may sometimes be subtle, but it is pernicious, inducing chronic stress and coping strategies such as emotional avoidance. In this research, we sought to deepen the understanding of epistemic injustice’s impact by examining emotional responses to being discredited and assessing if marginalized social group membership predicts these responses. We conducted a novel (...)
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  5.  17
    Moral Values Reveal the Causality Implicit in Verb Meaning.Laura Niemi, Joshua Hartshorne, Tobias Gerstenberg, Matthew Stanley & Liane Young - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (6):e12838.
    Prior work has found that moral values that build and bind groups—that is, the binding values of ingroup loyalty, respect for authority, and preservation of purity—are linked to blaming people who have been harmed. The present research investigated whether people's endorsement of binding values predicts their assignment of the causal locus of harmful events to the victims of the events. We used an implicit causality task from psycholinguistics in which participants read a sentence in the form “SUBJECT verbed OBJECT because…” (...)
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  6.  29
    Making moral principles suit yourself.Matthew Stanley, Paul Henne, Laura Niemi, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2021 - Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 1.
    Normative ethical theories and religious traditions offer general moral principles for people to follow. These moral principles are typically meant to be fixed and rigid, offering reliable guides for moral judgment and decision-making. In two preregistered studies, we found consistent evidence that agreement with general moral principles shifted depending upon events recently accessed in memory. After recalling their own personal violations of moral principles, participants agreed less strongly with those very principles—relative to participants who recalled events in which other people (...)
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  7.  16
    Acknowledging and managing deep constraints on moral agency and the self.Laura Niemi & Jesse Graham - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
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    Partisan mathematical processing of political polling statistics: It’s the expectations that count.Laura Niemi, Mackenna Woodring, Liane Young & Sara Cordes - 2019 - Cognition 186:95-107.
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    Neuroscience and Mental Illness.Natalia Washington, Christina Leone & Laura Niemi - 2022 - In Felipe De Brigard (ed.), Neuroscience and Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    The fast-developing field of neuroscience has given philosophy, as well as other disciplines and the public broadly, many new tools and perspectives for investigating one of our most pressing challenges: addressing the health and well-being of our mental lives. In some cases, neuroscientific innovation has led to clearer understanding of the mechanisms of mental illness and precise new modes of treatment. In other cases, features of neuroscience itself, such as the enticing nature of the data it produces compared to previous (...)
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