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The Psychology of Judicial Decision Making$
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David E. Klein and Gregory Mitchell

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367584.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

Is There a Psychology of Judging?

Is There a Psychology of Judging?

(p.103) 7 Is There a Psychology of Judging?
The Psychology of Judicial Decision Making

Frederick Schauer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Psychologists have recently begun to study the psychological dimensions of judging, but to date almost all of the research has been on lay experimental subjects. Implicit in the research, therefore, is that the judge's attributes as a human bring are more important than the judge's attributes as lawyer and/or as judge in explaining judicial behavior. This may possibly be true, and it is relatively consistent with a Legal Realist understanding of judges and judging, but there remains a need for research directed specifically to the question whether judges by virtue of legal training, self-selection to judging, or judicial experience think and reason and make decisions differently from lay people. More specifically, when judges engage in tasks typically reserved to judges—finding and interpreting the relevant law, most prominently—are their cognitive processes different from those of lay people engaged in analogous tasks, and from those of lay people engaged in different and more fact-focused tasks? Until we can answer these questions based on systematic research, we will not know whether there is a psychology of judging at all, as opposed simply to general psychology applied to some of the tasks in which judges, like all other decision makers, engage.

Keywords:   judicial reasoning, judicial decision making, expertise, external validity, formalism, legal realism, judicial experience

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