Rebecca Helm

 

Rebecca Helm

Graduate Student in Law, Psychology and Human Development
G95 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Human Development
 
Phone: (607) 351 3063
Email: rkh53@cornell.edu
View Cornell University Contact Info
 
Biographical Statement:

I am a PhD student in Law, Psychology, and Human Development, and a qualified attorney in England and Wales and New York. I use quantitative approaches based on cognitive psychology and brain imaging (fMRI) to investigate how decisions are made in the legal system, and how changing legal standards can promote rational and informed legal judgments. I am especially interested in using this work to promote the enforcement of human rights and to protect underprivileged participants in the legal system.

 
Teaching and Advising Statement:

Teaching Fellow in the Cornell Law School International Human Rights Clinic

Graduate Student Co­-Instructor, "Translational Research in Decision-Making" with Professor Valerie Reyna, 2014-present. 

Graduate Student Co-Instructor, "Children's Testimony" with Professor Steve Ceci, 2014. 

 
Current Professional Activities:

 Attorney in the Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic at Cornell Law School

Volunteer Attorney with the International Refugee Assistance Project

Admitted to Practice Law in New York and England and Wales                                  

Member of the New York State Bar Association, 2011-present                                   

Member of the Law Society of England and Wales, 2013-present

Graduate Fellow, Cornell University Cognitive Science Program

 
Current Research Activities:

 

Research Positions

Laboratory Leader, Laboratory for Rational Decision Making and Human Neuroscience Institute, Dr. Valerie Reyna.  

Graduate Research Assistant, Laboratory for Rational Decision Making and Human Neuroscience Institute, Dr. Valerie Reyna. 

2015: Graduate Research Fellow funded by the National Science Foundation "Quantitative Judgments in Law: Studies of Damage Award Decision Making," Valerie Reyna & Valerie Hans, PI. 

2014: Graduate Research Fellow funded by the National Institute of Health "The Gist of Hot and Cold Cognition in Adolescents' Risky Decision Making," Valerie Reyna, PI.

Fellowships Awarded

Ohlin Fellowship 2013 - 2014

Martha E. Foulk Fellowship 2016 - 2017

Grants Awarded

American Psychology and Law Association McCarthur Award (Logical but Incompetent Plea Decisions: A New Approach to Competence Grounded in Developmental Theory)

Cornell Institute of Social Sciences Small Grant (Gist in Criminal Adjudication)

Cornell Human Ecology Alumni Association Grant (Investigating Attorney Plea Recommendations)

 
Education:

 BA in Law, June 2010, University of Oxford, United Kingdom                  

Masters in Law, May 2011, Cornell Law School

Masters in Developmental Psychology, May 2014, Cornell University

 
Related Websites:

 http://www.human.cornell.edu/hd/reyna/

http://www.human.cornell.edu/hd/ceci/

http://www.cogsci.cornell.edu

 
Selected Publications:

 

Journal Articles 

Helm, R. K., Hans, V. P., & Reyna, V. F. (in press). Trial by Numbers. Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Helm, R. K., & Reyna, V. F. (2017). Logical but incompetent plea decisions: A new approach to plea bargaining grounded in cognitive theory. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. doi: 10.1037/law0000125.

Helm, R. K., Ceci, S. J., & Burd, K. A. (2016). Can implicit associations distinguish true and false eyewitness memory? Development and preliminary testing of the IATe. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 34(6), 803-819 doi: 10.1002/bsl.2272.

Helm, R. K., Wistrich, A. J., & Rachlinski, J. J. (2016). Are arbitrators human? Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 13(4), 666-692. doi: 10.1111/jels.12129.

Helm, R. K., Ceci, S. J., & Burd, K. A. (2016). Unpacking insanity defence standards: An experimental study of rationality and control tests in criminal law. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context, 8(2), 63-68.

Helm, R. K., & Dunlea, J. P (2016). Motivated cognition and juror interpretation of scientific evidence: Applying cultural cognition to interpretation of forensic testimony. Penn State Law Review Online, 120(1).

Hritz, A. C., Royer, C. E., Helm, R. K., Burd, K. A., Ojeda, K., & Ceci, S. J. (2015). Children's suggestibility research: Things to know before interviewing a child. Anuario de Psicologia Juridica, 25(1), 3-12.

Blume, J. H., Helm, R. K. (2014), The Unexonerated: Factually innocent defendants who plead guilty, Cornell Law Review, 100, 157.

 

Book Chapters and Reviews

Helm R. K. & Hans V. P. (in press). Procedural Roles: Professional Judges, Lay Judges, and Lay Jurors. In Brown, D., Turner, J., & Weißer B. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Process.  

Helm R. K., Royer, C. E., & Ceci, S. J. (in press). Child Interrogations and Testimony. In Bowers, M. & Koen, W. (Eds.), Forensic Science Reform: The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions. 

Helm, R. K., McCormick, M. J., & Reyna, V. F. (in press). Expert decision making: A fuzzy-trace theory perspective. In Ball, L. J. & Thompson V. A. (Eds.), The International Handbook of Thinking & Reasoning.

Helm, R. K. & Reyna, V. F. (in press). Cognitive, developmental and neurobiological aspects of risk. In Raue, M., Lermer, E. & Streicher, B. (Eds.), Psychological Aspects of Risk and Risk Analysis: Theory, Models, and Applications. New York, NY: Springer.

Reyna, V. F., Rahimi-Golkhandan, S., Garavito, D. M. N., & Helm, R. K. (in press). The Fuzzy-Trace Dual-Process Model. In De Neys, W. (Ed.), Dual Process Theory 2.0. 

Meschkow, A. S., Nolte, J., Garavito, D. M. N., Helm, R. K., Weldon, R. B., & Reyna, V. F. (in press). Risk taking across the lifespan. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development.

Ceci, S. J. & Helm, R. K. Review of The Young Eyewitness, PsychCRITIQUES, 62(8). doi: 10.1037/a0040720.

Ceci, S. J., Burd, K. A., & Helm, R. K. (2015). Insight into children's prosocial lie telling: Commentary on Werneken and Orlins. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 33(3). 

Wilhelms, E. A., Helm, R. K., Setton, R. A., Reyna, V. F. (2014). Fuzzy trace theory explains paradoxical dissociations in affective forecasting. In Wilhelms, E. A., & Reyna, V. F. (Eds.), Neuroeconomics, Judgment, and Decision Making (pp. 49-73), New York, NY: Psychology Press. 

Ceci, S. J., Helm, R. K., Burd, K. (2014) Is G for gaslight? Looking where the illumination is good is no guarantee the key will be found (reviewing G is for Genes: The Impact of Genetics on Education and Achievement), PsychCRITIQUES, 59(14). 

 

Conference Presentations

Conference Papers

Helm, R. K., Reyna, V. F., Meschkow, A., Ulczak, M., & Jenkins, A. (2017). Cognitive processing of evidence in jurors: Extending the story model. Paper presented at the 2017 American Psychology and Law Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington.  

 Helm, R. K., Reyna, V. F., Novick, R. Z., Franz, A. A., & Govindgari, S. (2017). Logical but incompetent plea decisions. Paper presented at the 2017 American Psychology and Law Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. 

McQuinston, D. E., Burd, K. A., Hayton, C. G., & Helm, R. K. (2017). Courthouse dogs: A violation of the defendant’s due process? Paper presented at the 2017 American Psychology and Law Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington.

Helm, R. K., Reyna, V. F., Weldon, R. B., Shah, P. D., & Turpin, A. (2016). Covariations of brain activation with criminal behaviors. Paper presented at the 6th Annual Interdisciplinary Symposium on Decision Neuroscience, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Helm, R. K., & Ceci, S. J. (2016). Motivated conceptions of the insanity defence. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, New Orleans, Louisianna. 

Rachlinski, J. J, Wistrich, A. J., & Helm, R. K. (2015). Are arbitrators human? Paper presented at the 10th Annual Conference of the Society for Empirical Legal Studies, St. Louis, Missouri. 

Conference Posters

Garavito, D., De Tello, J., Reyna, V. F. & Helm, R. K. (to be presented May 2017). Predicting intention to report sports-related concussion symptoms. Poster to be presented at the 2017 meeting of the American Psychological Society, Boston, Massachusetts. 

Katz, E., Ponzo, T., Erez, Y, Helm, R. K., & Reyna, V. F. (to be presented May 2017). The influence of liking and wanting on risk-taking in hot and cold states. Poster to be presented at the 2017 meeting of the American Psychological Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

Helm, R. K., Franz, A. A., Heller, G. C., Novick, R. Z., & Reyna, V. F. (2016). Logical But Incompetent Plea Decisions. Poster presented at the 37th Annual conference of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Boston, Massachusetts. 

Helm, R. K., Reyna, V. F., Meschkow, A. S., Weldon, R. B. (2015). Separating Representation, Reflection, and Emotional Reaction: A Fuzzy-Trace Theory Approach to Criminal Adjudication. Poster presented at the 36th Annual conference of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Chicago, Illinois. 

Helm, R. K., Reyna, V. F., Corbin, J. C., Wilhelms, E. A., & Weldon, R. B. (2014), Verbatim Reasoning Distinguishes Risky Decision Making in Juvenile Delinquents: A Fuzzy Trace Theory Approach. Poster Presented at the 35th Annual Conference of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Long Beach, California. 

Corbin, J. C., Reyna, V. F., Hans, V. P. & Helm, R. K. (2014). The Context of Meaningful Numbers Change Jury’s Awards: The Role of Gist in Jury Award Decisions. Poster Presented at the 35th Annual Conference of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Long Beach, California.

Wilhelms, E, A., Reyna, V. F., Corbin, J. C. & Helm, R. K. (2014). The gist of happiness. Eliciting gist judgments reduces instability in judgments of subjective well-being. Poster Presented at the 35th Annual Conference of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Long Beach, California.

 
Selected Keywords:

 
The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.