Nina L. Powell

Nina L. Powell

School of Psychology
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Title of PhD: Moral condemnation and blame: The use of additional information

Supervisors: Dr Kimberly Quinn, Dr Sarah Beck, Dr Roger Giner-Sorolla

Nina is interested in moral condemnation and the development of counterfactual blame judgements. This research involves examining both adults’ and children’s moral judgements, and when people want or need additional information as a function of their emotional reaction to the moral violation.


B.A. Psychology Honours


Nina has a B.A. Honours in psychology from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2008 before moving to the United Kingdom to work as a research assistant in both the developmental lab under Dr Sarah Beck, and the social lab under Dr Kimberly Quinn at the University of Birmingham. Nina started her PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2009 continuing to work with both Dr Beck and Dr Quinn. Nina is due to complete her PhD on moral condemnation and blame judgements in adults and children in 2012.


Moral judgement; moral emotions; disgust; counterfactual reasoning; counterfactual emotions; development of moral judgments.

Research groups

  • Social cognition and neuroscience (SCoNe)
  • Cognitive development

Other activities

  • Postgraduate Representative for the College of Life and Environmental Sciences
  • Assistant Instructor for the Widening Participation A2B Scheme


Powell NL, Guttentag RE. Biases in children’s and adults’ moral judgments. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 2012; In press.

Powell NL, Zumbe S, Quinn KA. Is It Worth the Effort? Moral Elevation without Outcome Knowledge Does Not Promote Helping. Psychological Science, 2012; Under review.

Powell NL, Beck SR, Giner-Sorolla R, Quinn KA. Reactions to harm and purity violations: Moral condemnation and desire to know more. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2012; Under review.

Powell NL, Quinn KA, Beck SR. Comparing regret and understanding of blame in children and adults. In preparation.

External Presentations:

Symposium presentation, Society for Research on Child Development, Denver, Colorado, 2009

Poster Presentation, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, Texas, 2010

Research Talk, European Association of Social Psychology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2011

Research Talk, European Social Cognition Network, Sligo, Ireland, 2011

Presentation, Parenting Science Series at University of Kent, Canterbury, 2011