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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Disruptive Neuroscience Of Judicial Choice, Anna Spain Bradley Jan 2018

The Disruptive Neuroscience Of Judicial Choice, Anna Spain Bradley

Articles

Scholars of judicial behavior overwhelmingly substantiate the historical presumption that most judges act impartially and independent most of the time. The reality of human behavior, however, says otherwise. Drawing upon untapped evidence from neuroscience, this Article provides a comprehensive evaluation of how bias, emotion, and empathy—all central to human decision-making—are inevitable in judicial choice. The Article offers three novel neuroscientific insights that explain why this inevitability is so. First, because human cognition associated with decision-making involves multiple, and often intersecting, neural regions and circuits, logic and reason are not separate from bias and emotion in the brain. Second ...


Legal Reasoning And Scientific Reasoning, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2011

Legal Reasoning And Scientific Reasoning, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

In my presentation for the 2010 Meador Lectures on Rationality, I chose to compare legal reasoning and scientific reasoning. Both law and science pride themselves on the rationality of their intellectual methods and believe that those methods are designed to analyze questions and reach the correct conclusions by means of reason, free from cognitive or emotional biases. Of course, both law and science often fall short of this ideal at all levels, from the decisions about individual legal cases or scientific studies to the acceptance of general theories. In many ways, the biases that mislead legal and scientific thinkers are ...


Discrimination In Sentencing On The Basis Of Afrocentric Features, William T. Pizzi, Irene V. Blair, Charles M. Judd Jan 2005

Discrimination In Sentencing On The Basis Of Afrocentric Features, William T. Pizzi, Irene V. Blair, Charles M. Judd

Articles

For a long time, social scientists have worried about possible racial discrimination in sentencing in the United States. With a prison population that exceeds two million inmates of whom approximately 48% are African American, the worry over the fairness of the sentencing process is understandable. This article is not about discrimination between racial categories as such, but about a related form of discrimination, namely, discrimination on the basis of a person's Afro-centric features. Section I of the article describes a line of social science research that shows that a person's Afro-centric features have a strong biasing effect on ...


Behavioral Economics And The Sec, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2003

Behavioral Economics And The Sec, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Not all investors are rational. Quite apart from the obvious examples of credulity in the face of the latest Ponzi scheme, there is no shortage of evidence that many investors' decisions are influenced by systematic biases that impair their abilities to maximize their investment returns. For example, investors will often hold onto poorly performing stocks longer than warranted, hoping to recoup their losses. Other investors will engage in speculative trading, dissipating their returns by paying larger commissions than more passive investors. And we are not just talking about widows and orphans here. There is evidence that supposedly sophisticated institutional investors-mutual ...


How Much Do We Really Know About Race And Juries? A Review Of Social Science Theory And Research, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2003

How Much Do We Really Know About Race And Juries? A Review Of Social Science Theory And Research, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

The past decade has witnessed numerous high-profile criminal trials in which controversial verdicts have been attributed to racethe race of the defendant, the racial composition of a jury, an attorney "playing the race card," and so on. A predominantly Black jury's acquittal of O.J. Simpson and White jurors' leniency in the police brutality cases of Rodney King and Amadou Diallo not only sparked public debate, but also led to rioting and violence. In the wake of trials such as these, many have questioned the viability of the American jury system.' More specific questions regarding the influence of race ...


Race In The Courtroom: Perceptions Of Guilt And Dispositional Attributions, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2000

Race In The Courtroom: Perceptions Of Guilt And Dispositional Attributions, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

The present studies compare the judgments of White and Black mock jurors in interracial trials. In Study 1, the defendant’s race did not influence White college students’ decisions but Black students demonstrated ingroup/outgroup bias in their guilt ratings and attributions for the defendant’s behavior. The aversive nature of modern racism suggests that Whites are motivated to appear nonprejudiced when racial issues are salient; therefore, the race salience of a trial summary was manipulated and given to noncollege students in Study 2. Once again, the defendant’s race did not influence Whites when racial issues were salient. But ...