Dr. Kelsey Henderson is an assistant professor in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department. She earned her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of Florida. Dr. Henderson’s research interests lie at the intersection of psychology and the law. Her research seeks to understand how individuals make decisions within the American legal system. In conducting her research, she frequently utilizes experimental design and applies various social psychological theories to explore aspects of legal decision-making.
The main body of her scholarly work explores juror decision-making and plea bargaining decision-making. Some of her ongoing research questions are: how do jurors make decisions about evidence? Does an expert’s testimony help jurors evaluate evidence and make more informed decisions? In the past, she has explored how jurors evaluate confession evidence that is consistent or inconsistent with other pieces of evidence, and if expert testimony and cross-examination could help jurors notice these inconsistencies (and ultimately influence their verdict decisions).
In the area of plea bargaining decisions, Dr. Henderson’s research focuses on factors that influence a defendant’s plea decision (i.e., accepting a guilty plea versus taking their case to trial), and how those decisions differ between innocent and guilty individuals. Additionally, she has conducted work exploring how eyewitnesses pick someone out of a line-up, and the factors that influence these decisions.
Dr. Henderson’s goal in research is to understand the factors that affect decision-making within the legal system and to develop methods that help individuals make the most informed decisions possible.
Students in Dr. Henderson’s prior classes note the following about her teaching:
“Dr. Henderson does a very good job of explaining very complicated material in terms that makes it easy to understand. The course was more enjoyable than I was expecting.”
“Dr. Henderson is so excited about her field that it is clearly, physically visible to students who take her classes. She is the perfect combination of knowledgeable, passionate, and personable that makes for a great professor who can make a four hour class not feel like a horrendous experience.”
“Dr. Kelsey Henderson really takes the time to teach all the curriculum needed for students to succeed within her class. It is important to note that she teaches to all different learning styles and makes it very easy for anyone to ask questions and find answers.”
- Ph.D., Criminology, Law, and Society, University of Florida
- M.A., Criminology, Law, and Society, University of Florida
- B.A., Criminology, University of Florida