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2001

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Cognitive science

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Inside The Judicial Mind, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich Jan 2001

Inside The Judicial Mind, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The quality of the judicial system depends upon the quality of decisions that judges make. Even the most talented and dedicated judges surely make occasional mistakes, but the public understandably expects judges to avoid systematic errors. This expectation, however, might be unrealistic. Psychologists who study human judgment and choice have learned that people frequently fall prey to cognitive illusions that produce systematic errors in judgment. Even though judges are experienced, well-trained, and highly motivated decision makers, they might be vulnerable to cognitive illusions. We report the results of an empirical study designed to determine whether five common cognitive illusions (anchoring ...