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Nancy Brekke

Associate Professor of Psychology


PhD University of Minnesota
Major area: Social Psychology
Minor area: Statistics & Methodology
Ancillary areas (qualifying exams): Personality, Human Learning, Statistics, & Comparative Psychology

BA summa cum laude, University of Minnesota
Major: Psychology


Social Cognition
Psychology of Stereotyping, Prejudice, & Discrimination
Psychology, Law, & Public Policy
Applied Social Psychology

Courses Taught 

Psychology 110 Introduction to Psychology Laboratory
Psychology 205 Stereotypes, Prejudice, & Discrimination
Psychology 221-222 Research Methods and Statistics I & II
Psychology 255 Social Psychology
Psychology 430 Psychology & Law  

Selected Publications 

Locksley, A., Borgida, E., Brekke, N., & Hepburn, C. (1980). Sex stereotypes and social judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 821-831.

Borgida, E., & Brekke, N. (1981). The base rate fallacy in attribution and prediction. In J. H. Harvey, W. J. Ickes, & R. F. Kidd (Eds.), New directions in attribution research (Volume 3) (pp. 63-95). Hillsdale, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Borgida, E., Locksley, A., & Brekke, N. (1981). Social stereotypes and social judgment: A base rate approach. In N. Cantor and J. F. Kihlstrom (Eds.), Cognition, interaction, and personality (pp.153-169). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Borgida, E., & Brekke, N. (1984). Psycholegal research on rape trials. In A. Burgess (Ed.), Rape and sexual assault: A research handbook (pp. 313-342). Garland Publishing Co.

Brekke, N. (1987). [Review of Exemplary rape crisis programs: A cross-site analysis and case studies.] Contemporary Psychology, 32, 190-191.

Brekke, N., & Borgida, E. (1988). Expert psychological testimony in rape trials: A social-cognitive analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 372-386.

Brekke, N., Enko, P., Clavet, G., & Seelau, E. (1991). Of juries and court-appointed experts: The impact of nonadversarial versus adversarial expert testimony. Law and Human Behavior, 15, 451-475.

Wilson, T.D., & Brekke, N. (1994). Mental contamination and mental correction: Unwanted influences on judgments and evaluations. Psychological Bulletin, 116, 117-142.

Compaan, C, & Brekke, N. Perceptions of child sexual abuse: An experimental analysis. Accepted pending revisions, Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Wilson, T.D., Houston, C, Etling, K.M. & Brekke, N. (1996). A new look at anchoring effects: Basic anchoring and its antecedents. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 125, 387-402.

Wilson, T.D., Centerbar, D.B., & Brekke, N. (2002). Mental contamination and the debiasing problem.  In T. Gilovich, D. Griffin, & D. Kahneman (Eds.), Heurisitics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Work in Progress 

Brekke, N., & Guglielmi, R.S. Stereotypes. Prejudice, and Discrimination. Worth Publishers. Book in preparation.\ 

Selected Professional Presentations 

Borgida, E., Locksley, A., & Brekke, N. (1979, March-April). Cognitive and evaluative aspects of sex stereotyping. Paper presented at the Symposium on Personality and Cognition, Princeton.

University Borgida, E., & Brekke, N. (1980, June). Toward a process analysis approach to jury deliberations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Law and Society Association, University of Wisconsin,

Madison. Brekke, N., Borgida, E., & Mensing, D. K. (1983, May). Expert scientific testimony in rape trials. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Borgida, E., Brekke, N., & Frazier, P. (1983, October). Syndrome evidence in court. Paper presented at the bi-annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Chicago, IL.

Brekke, N., & Borgida, E. (1986, May). On the admissibility of rape trauma syndrome evidence. Paper presented at the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Brekke, N. (1986, November). Rape trauma syndrome evidence in court. Invited workshop presented at the Virginia Convention on Preventing Violence, Charlottesville, VA.

Brekke, N. (1986, November). Psychological perspectives on the admissibility of rape trauma syndrome evidence. Invited workshop presented at the All Services Military Judges’ Seminar.

Brekke, N. (1987, October). The pros and cons of introducing rape trauma evidence in court. Invited workshop presented at the Fifth Annual Conference of the Virginia Network for Victims and Witnesses, “Victims of Crime: Improving the Criminal Justice System’s Response.” September 30-October 2, Hampton, VA.

Brekke, N. (1989, April). Expert psychological testimony in rape trials: Empirical investigations. Invited colloquium presented at the Symposium on Psychology and the Law, Union College.

Brekke, N., Enko, P., Clavet, G., & Seelau, E. (1990, March). Expert scientific testimony and jury decision making: The impact of adversarial vs. nonadversarial presentational mode. Paper presented at the 1990 convention of American Psychology-Law Society, Williamsburg, VA.

Brekke, N., & Wilson, T.D. (1991, October). Mental contamination and mental correction: Unwanted influences on judgments and evaluations. Paper presented at the annual convention of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, Columbus, OH.

Current Projects 

Brekke, N., & Guglielmi, R.S. Stereotypes. Prejudice, and Discrimination. Worth Publishers. Book in preparation. 

Honors and Awards 

2003, Christopher Mojekwu Award for Advancing Intercultural Understanding

1992-1994,  Gustav E. Beerly, Jr. Endowed Assistant Professorship, Lake Forest College

1986, Doctoral Dissertation Award (First Prize): American Psychological Association, Division 41: Psychology and Law

1983-1984, University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

1980-1983, National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship

1980, Undergraduate Research Award, University of Minnesota Department of Psychology


1987-1990 National Science Foundation, Law & Social Sciences Grant, NSF SES-8708007: “The Impact of Expert Scientific Testimony on Jury Decision-Making”

1987 University of Virginia Summer Research Grant “Expert Psychological Testimony: What Can Psychologists Tell the Court?”

1986-1987 University of Virginia Research Support Fund Grant “Legal Perceptions of Social Scientific Evidence”

1985-1986 University of Virginia Research Policy Grant “Expert Scientific Testimony: When Will Jurors Listen?”

1983-1984 Doctoral Dissertation Special Grant, University of Minnesota Graduate School

Professional Affiliations 

American Psychology-Law Society: Division 41, American Psychological Association

Association for Psychological Science

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues