Friday, December 6, 2013

Sood on Motivated Cognition in Legal Judgments

Avani Mehta Sood (Berkeley) has posted on SSRN the article "Motivated Cognition in Legal Judgments: An Analytic Review," Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 9, pp. 307-325 (2013).


How and when do legal decision makers' preferred outcomes inadvertently drive their judgments? This psychological phenomenon, known as motivated cognition or motivated reasoning, has become an important topic of investigation among scholars conducting experimental research at the intersection of law and psychology. This article presents an overview of that literature, discusses some of its legal applications and implications, highlights areas that require further investigation, and considers some potential ways to curtail the covert operation of motivated cognition in the legal arena.

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