Chapter

Psychological Models of Professional Decision Making

Mandeep K. Dhami

in Heuristics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199744282
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894727 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744282.003.0028
Psychological Models of Professional Decision Making

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People are often expected to make decisions based on all of the relevant information, weighted and combined appropriately. Under many conditions, however, people use heuristic strategies that depart from this ideal. This chapter tested the ability of two models to predict bail decisions made by judges in two courts. In both courts, a simple heuristic proved to be a better predictor of judicial decisions than a more complex model that instantiated the principles of due process. Specifically, judges were “passing the buck” because they relied on decisions made by the police, prosecution, and previous bench. Problematically, these earlier decisions were not significantly related to case characteristics. These findings have implications for the types of models researchers use to capture professional decision-making policies.

Keywords: decision making; fast and frugal trees; legal; experts; heuristics

Chapter.  3931 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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