A woman poses for a photo in a courtroom.

ASU New College professor to speak at Arizona Supreme Court

Tess Neal, assistant professor of psychology at Arizona State University's New College, has been invited by the Arizona Supreme Court to be the keynote speaker at the Legal Competency and Restoration Conference for Mental Health Professionals. 

The conference, held April 17–19 in downtown Phoenix, provides required training to mental health professionals who wish to contract with Arizona's courts to provide competency evaluations and restoration services.

Neal has been invited in recognition of her extraordinary research in the field of psychology and law. Her research focuses on human inference and decision making by experts, asking, "How do people reason with and integrate information to make inferences and judgments, and what affects peoples ability to do this well?"

She studies these basic science questions in applied settings, such as the legal system, healthcare and mental health systems and the government, attempting to discover new understandings about how humans make decisions, and make concrete contributions to real-world problems.

Neal has published one edited book and nearly three dozen peer-reviewed publications. She is the recipient of the 2016 Saleem Shah Award for Early Career Excellence in Psychology and Law, co-awarded by the American Psychology – Law Society and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, and was named a 2016 "Rising Star" by the Association for Psychological Science, a designation that recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-doctorate "whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions." She also directs the Clinical and Legal Judgment Lab at ASU.