Chapter

Judicial Decision-Making

Eyal Zamir and Doron Teichman

in Behavioral Law and Economics

Published in print July 2018 | ISBN: 9780190901349
Published online June 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780190901387 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190901349.003.0016
Judicial Decision-Making

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This chapter discusses the rich behavioral research on judicial decision-making. It opens with general theories of the cognitive process of judicial decision-making, focusing on the story model and coherence-based reasoning. It examines how various heuristics and biases—such as the compromise and contrast effects, hindsight bias, omission bias, and anchoring—are reflected in judicial decision-making. Special attention is given to the limited ability of fact-finders to disregard inadmissible evidence, the interactions between race and judicial decision-making, the role of non-consequentialist moral judgments in judicial decision-making, and the impact of the choice between rules and standards on the predictability of judgments. Finally, the chapter discusses two fundamental questions in the behavioral analysis of judicial decision-making: group decision-making, and decision-making by judges (as opposed to laypersons).

Keywords: judicial decision-making; compromise effect; contrast effect; hindsight bias; omission bias; anchoring; inadmissible evidence; rules versus standards; group decision-making

Chapter.  21954 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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