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The Psychology of Judicial Decision Making

David E. Klein and Gregory Mitchell


This volume of essays examines the psychological processes that underlie judicial decision making. Chapters in the first section of the book take as their starting point the fact that judges make many of the same judgments and decisions that ordinary people make and consider how our knowledge about judgment and decision-making in general applies to the case of legal judges. Chapters in the second section focus on the specific tasks that judges perform within a unique social setting and examine the expertise and particular modes of reasoning that judges develop to deal with their tasks in this ... More

Keywords: judicial behavior, judicial decision making, courts, rationality, heuristics and biases, attitudinal model, strategic models, legal model, motivated reasoning, expertise

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780195367584
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367584.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David E. Klein, editor
University of Virginia

Gregory Mitchell, editor
University of Virginia School of Law

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Part I Judges and Human Behavior

2 Multiple Constraint Satisfaction in Judging

Jennifer K. Robbennolt, Robert J. MacCoun, and John M. Darley

Part II Judging as Specialized Activity

10 Judges, Expertise, and Analogy

Barbara A. Spellman

11 Thresholds for Action in Judicial Decisions

Len Dalgleish, James Shanteau, and April Park

12 Every Jury Trial Is a Bench Trial: Judicial Engineering of Jury Disputes

C. K. Rowland, Tina Traficanti, and Erin Vernon

Part III Evaluating and Improving Judging

14 Evaluating Judges

Gregory Mitchell

15 Defining Good Judging

Andrew J. Wistrich

16 Expertise of Court Judges

James Shanteau, and Len Dalgleish

17 Cognitive Style and Judging

Gregory Mitchell, and Philip E. Tetlock

18 Building a Better Judiciary

Daniel A. Farber, and Suzanna Sherry