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Evidence Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2017

Evidence

William & Mary Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

The Conjunction Problem And The Logic Of Jury Findings, David S. Schwartz, Elliott Sober Nov 2017

The Conjunction Problem And The Logic Of Jury Findings, David S. Schwartz, Elliott Sober

William & Mary Law Review

For several decades, evidence theorists have puzzled over the following paradox, known as the “conjunction paradox” or “conjunction problem.” Probability theory appears to tell us that the probability of a conjunctive claim is the product resulting from multiplying the probabilities of its separate conjuncts. In a three element negligence case (breach of duty, causation, damages), a plaintiff who proves each element to a 0.6 probability will have proven her overall claim to a very low probability of 0.216. Either the plaintiff wins the verdict based on this low probability (if the jury focuses on elements), or the plaintiff ...