Monday, September 18, 2017

A Book to Help Judges Understand Cognitive Biases

The ABA House of Delegates recently passed a resolution urging all courts and all bar associations to provide judges with debiasing training.  I recently published a book that can be used for this purpose: E, Scott Fruehwald, Overcoming Cognitive Biases: Thinking More Clearly and Avoiding Manipulation by Others (2017).

The Report supporting the Resolution states, "Everyone carries with them implicit biases formed throughout their life. While sometimes innocuous and generally subconscious, these biases inform our everyday lives. They help us make decisions, for better or for worse, and they are ever present in our interactions with others. The judiciary is not immune. Judges, after all, are only human and come to the bench with implicit biases that could, if unabated, leak into their decision-making. As with everyday individuals, judges likely do not notice their own biases and may not fully understand the effect such biases have on their decision-making."

A law school study "concluded that 'judges harbor the same kinds of implicit biases as others; that these biases can influence their judgment; but that given sufficient motivation, judges can compensate for the influence of these biases.'"

My book can help judges overcome their biases.  Not only does it provided detailed explanations of each bias, it includes numerous exercises to help people recognize and overcome their biases and see the biases in others.  You can download a sample chapter here.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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