Rob Cramer , ph.d.



Assistant Professor of Psychology


Office: CHSS 324

Lab: CHSS 328

Office phone: (936) 294-2435


Welcome to the Personality, Diversity, & Law (PDL) Lab


Research Interests:

1. Hate Crimes & Sexual Minority Issues: This area of research addresses legal and clinical issues for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons.

Legal Perspectives: With hate crime laws as a back drop, my work examines whether evidence of sexual orientation-based and other minority-based hate serves as a factor in legal perceptions and decision-making. It also examines what juror-related characteristics (e.g., sexual prejudice, authoritarianism) mitigate such perceptions and decisions. Current work analyzes these questions in, as well as attitudes and predictors of support for hate crime-related legislation in general, with particular interests in the need for affect and other emotional characteristics.  Future work will focus on emotion theory tests in this context.  

Health Perspectives: Of equal importance is the functional impact of hate crime victimization. As such, my previous research focused on the Legacy Project, a grant examining various social and clinical impacts of victimization, as well as contemporary methods of measuring sexual orientation identity. Currently in data planning and collection phases is follow-up work to Project Legacy addressing sexual behavior, mental health, and violence proneness impacts of sexual assault, hate crime and stalking victimization.

2. Suicide: This domain of my work broadly addresses two issues: Testing risk prediction models of suicide proneness in vulnerable populations, and training mental health professionals in suicide risk assessment and management competencies. Current emphases in suicide risk models focuses on integration of personality, internalized prejudice, and/or the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide in multiple samples.  Currently in planning is a multi-site study to examine the need for affect with trait and interpersonal characteristics as predictors of suicide proneness over time.  I also address clinician-related topics such as beliefs about suicide and addressing the need for training in suicide risk assessment. Immediate projects in this area include a multi-site study evaluating the impact of classroom- and workshop-based methods of training, as well as collaboration with the VA Health Care system examining suicide risk assessment and other competency-based training. 

3. Witness Testimony/Trial Consultation: This line of research examines mechanisms associated with the credibility and effectiveness of witness testimony. Prior research focused on witness-related characteristics such as confidence, credibility, self-efficacy, and others. Additionally, juror traits and attitudes such as the Five-Factor Model and need for affect are examined as moderating variables of jury decision making. Recent work in this area has evaluated conceptual distinctions between witness credibility, efficacy, and personality, as well as perceived similarity with expert witnesses.  Future directions may include further development of the Witness Self-Efficacy Scale, qualitative studies testing theories of jury deliberation, and evaluation of self-efficacy based models of witness preparation. 



Representative Publications:

Cramer, R.J., Burks, A.C., Stroud, C.H., Bryson, C.N., & Graham, J. (In Press). A Moderated Mediation Analysis of Suicide Proneness among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community Members. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

Cramer, R.J., & Brodsky, S.L. (2014). Bringing trial consultation to the classroom and vice versa: Conceptualization and design of a course in trial consulting. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 14, 145-157.

Cramer, R.J., Clark, J.W., Kehn A, Burks, A.C., & Wechsler, H.J. (2014). A Mock Juror Investigation of Blame Attribution in the Punishment of Hate Crime Perpetrators. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 37, 551-557.  

Cramer, R.J., Stroud, C.H., Fraser, T., & Graham, J. (2014). A Trait-Interpersonal Analysis of Suicide Proneness among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Community Members. Suicide & Life Threatening Behavior, 44, 601-615.

Cramer, R.J., DeCoster, J., Neal, T.M.S., & Brodsky, S.L. (2013). The Observed Witness Efficacy Scale: A Measure of Effective Testimony Skills. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 43, 1696-1703.

Cramer, R.J., Johnson, S.M., McLaughlin, J., Rausch, E.M., & Conroy, M.A. (2013). Suicide Risk Assessment for Psychology Doctoral Programs: Core Competencies and a Framework for Training. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 7, 1-11.

Cramer, R.J., Kehn, A., Pennington, C.R., Wechsler, H.J., Clark, J.W., & Nagle, J. (2013). An examination of sexual orientation- and transgender-based hate crimes in the post-Matthew Shepard era. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. 19, 355-368.

Cramer, R.J., Miller, A.K., Amacker, A.M.., & Burks, A.C. (2013). Openness, Right-wing Authoritarianism, and Antigay Prejudice in College Students: A Mediation Model. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 60, 64-71.  



Past and Present Collaborating Agencies and Groups:

American Psychological Foundation (Washington, DC)

Brewer Porch Children’s Center (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Legacy Community Health Services (Houston, TX)

Montgomery, Walker, & Dallas County Courts (TX)

National Coalition of Sexual Freedom (Baltimore, MD)

National Judicial College (Reno, NV)

San Francisco State University Psychology Department (San Francisco, CA)

Sam Houston State University Criminal Justice Department (Huntsville, TX)

Thomas Street Health Center (Houston, TX)

University of California San Francisco Psychiatry and Trauma Recovery Center (San Francisco, CA)

University of Alabama Counseling Center (Tuscaloosa, AL)

University of North Dakota Psychology Department (Grand Forks, ND)

Veritas Research (Houston, TX)

Westlake Trial Consulting (Austin, TX)

White & Associates Psychologists (Adelaide, Australia)

Witness Research Lab, University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)


Please feel free to contact me at for more information about my work.

Office: CHSS 324

Lab: CHSS 328

Office phone: (936) 294-2435