Associate Professor Psychology

Dr. Cythia Willis-Esqueda received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Kansas. She is a faculty member of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Psychology (Social Psychology and Psychology-Law programs) and the Institute for Ethnic Studies (American Indian Studies and Latina/Latino Studies). Her research focuses on motivations for and cognitive processes about "race" and ethnic bias, particularly against United States BIPOC communities. Dr. Willis-Esqueda and her students examine how ideology, such as modern forms of racism and essentialism, determines cognitive and social perceptions of race/ethnic groups’ behaviors and the meaning of such perceptions for legal and social inequality and justice.

Dr. Cynthia Willis-Esqueda is a Fellow of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. She also serves as chair of the American Psychology-Law Society’s Broadening Representation, Inclusion, Diversity, and Global Equity (BRIDGE) Committee and is an executive editor of the Journal of Social Psychology.  Dr. Willis-Esqueda served as UNL’s Director for Native American Studies for several years. She lives in a dual-citizenship family (Mexico and the United States).

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Espinoza, R. K. E., & Willis Esqueda, C. (2015). The influence of a capital case defendant’s mitigating information, race, and ses on death penalty decisions by European American and Hispanic venire persons. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 21, 288-299. On-line first, 2014.

Espinoza, R. K. E., Willis Esqueda, C., Toscano, S., & Coons, J. (2014). The impact of ethnicity, immigration status and ses on juror decision making. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, on-line first 

Freng, S., & Willis Esqueda, C. (2011). A question of honor: Chief Wahoo and American Indian stereotype activation among a university-based sample. The Journal of Social Psychology, 151, 577–591.

Willis Esqueda, C., Hack, L., & Tehee, M. (2010). Perceptions of American Indian domestic violence with evidence of alcohol use: The role of anti-Indian bias. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 34, 61-76.

Espinoza, R. K. E., & Willis Esqueda, C. (2008). Defendant and defense attorney characteristics and their effects on juror decision making and prejudice against Mexican Americans. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 14, 364-371.

Willis Esqueda, C., Espinoza, R. K. E., & Culhane, S. (2008). Effects of race, ses of defendant, and ses of crime on culpability decision making: A cross-cultural examination of European American and Mexican American mock jurors. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 30, 181-199.

Books Or Chapters Published

Willis Esqueda, C. (2015). Race and its place in the United States legal system. In The Witness Stand and Lawrence S. Wrightsman, Jr. New York, Springer.

Willis Esqueda, C. (2009, in press). Cross-cultural perspectives on stigma. In R.L. Wiener, R. Schopp, & S. Wilborn (Eds.), Stigma and Discrimination Law. New York: Springer.

Willis Esqueda, C. (2007). Racial profiling as a minority issue. In R.L. Wiener, B.H. Bornstein, R. Schopp, & S. Wilborn (Eds.), Legal Decision Making in Everyday Life: Controversies in Social Consciousness (pp. 75-87). New York: Springer.

Willis Esqueda, C., & Tehee, M. (2006). Legal and psychological approaches to understanding domestic violence for American Indigenous women. In B. Brooks-Gordon & M. Freeman (eds.), Current Legal Problems: Law and Psychology (pp. 257-273). London, UK: Oxford University Press.