Pamela Laughon, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology

Contact Information

  • 251-6424
  • 220 Delany Hall

Office Hours

  • Monday 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Note: Other days/times by appointment

Dr. Pam Laughon
joined the Psychology Department in 1989 and served as Chair of Psychology from 2006-2020.  She has been licensed as a practicing Psychologist-Provisional since 1994, and she served as a Guardian ad litem in the 28th Judicial District of NC from 1990-2000.  From 1996 to the present, she has served as a Mitigation Specialist III for Indigent Defense Services of North Carolina, assisting in the defense of over 250 capital murder defendants in NC, TN, SC, and the federal court system.  


B.A., UNC-Greensboro (Psychology)
M.S., Florida State University (School & Applied Developmental Psychology)
Ph.D., Florida State University (School & Applied Developmental Psychology)

Courses Taught

Introductory Psychology Developmental Psychology
Educational Psychology Psychology of Exceptional Children
Psychology and Law History and Systems in Psychology
Senior Seminar in Psychology Human Sexuality

Scholarly Contributions

  1. a)  Peer-reviewed papers

Keesler, M.E. & Laughon, P. (2019).  Mitigation.  In Morgan, R.E. et al. (Eds), The SAGE

      Encyclopedia of Criminal Psychology.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Publications.

Byrd, S., & Laughon, P. (1993).  Partners in learning.  Journal of the North Carolina

      Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, 36-44.

Wagner, R., Torgesen, J., Laughon, P., Simmons, K., & Rashotte, C. (1993). The

     development of young readers' phonological processing abilities.  Journal of

     Educational Psychology, 85(1), 83-103.

Torgesen, J., Wagner, R., Simmons, K., & Laughon, P.  (1990). Identifying phonological

    phonological coding problems in disabled readers:  Naming, counting, or span 

    measures?  Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 13(4), 236-243.

Laughon, P.  (1990). The dynamic assessment of intelligence:  A review of three 

     approaches.  School Psychology Review, 19(4), 459-470.

Laughon, P., & Torgesen, J.  (1985). Effects of alternate testing procedures on two   

     subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery.  Psychology in the 

     Schools, 22(2), 160-163.

  1. b)  Peer-reviewed conference presentations

Wolbransky, M., Keesler, M., DeMatteo, D., & Laughon, P.  (2014). Evaluating trauma

     in capital sentencing evaluations:  Prevalence and relevance to jury decision-making.

     Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic

     Stress Studies, Philadelphia, PA.

Laughon, P. & Chapman, E. (2013). Aftermath:  Facing the challenges of life after

      exoneration.  Panel presentation at the Innocence Network Conference, Charlotte,

  1. Keesler, M.E., Wolbransky, M., Laughon, P., & DeMatteo, D. (2012) The death penalty

sentencing phase:  Non-statutory mitigating factors.  Paper presented at the 2012 Annual Conference of the American Psychology-Law Society (APA Div. 41). San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Wolbransky, M., Keesler, M.E., Laughon, P., & DeMatteo, D. (2012).  The death 

penalty trial:  How jury sentencing decisions relate to capital sentencing procedures.  Paper presented at the 102nd Annual Conference of the American Psychology-Law Society (APA Div. 41), San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Keesler, M.E., Wolbransky, M., Laughon, P., & DeMatteo, D.  (2011). Death penalty    

     mitigation:  The combined effect of age and criminal history on sentencing.  Paper  

     presented at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological

    Association, Washington, DC.

Wolbransky, M.E., Keesler, M.E., Hinz, H., Laughon, P., DeMatteo, D., & Goldstein,   

       N.E.S.  (2011, March). Capital jury sentencing recommendations:  The relationship 

      between mental illness-related mitigating factors and sentencing decisions.  Paper  

      presented at the 2011 International American Psychology-Law Society Conference 

      (APA Div. 4), Miami, FL.  

Keesler, M.E., Laughon, P., Foster, E., Batastini, A., & DeMatteo, D.  (2010, March). 

     Capital jury agreement with mitigating factors:  The relationship between rate of

     agreement and ultimate sentence recommendation.  Paper presented at the 2010

     Annual Conference of the American Psychology-Law Society (APA Div. 41), 

     Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.