Debiasing the Courtroom: Using Behavioral Insights to Avoid and Mitigate Cognitive Biases

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/555855
Title:
Debiasing the Courtroom: Using Behavioral Insights to Avoid and Mitigate Cognitive Biases
Author:
Yokum, David Vincent
Issue Date:
2014
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Release after 6-Apr-2017
Abstract:
How can empirical science, and psychology in particular, be harnessed to avoid or eliminate unwanted biases? The body of work herein explores this question across twelve experiments. The first approach we consider is placing the onus on the individual to root out any already existing bias within him or herself. Chapter 3, for example, presents experiments that assess whether people (viz., jurors during voir dire) can accurately "self-diagnose" when they are irreparably biased by negative pretrial publicity. (The answer is a resounding no). A second approach is to try and avoid letting bias enter the courtroom in the first place. Chapter 4, for example, provides an experimental test of an institutional solution known as blind expertise, wherein certain biases of an expert witness are avoided by having an intermediary pick the expert, and then having the expert render an opinion before knowing which litigant made the request. In Chapter 7, we consider a third approach to handling bias, one that concedes it will exist in the courtroom. Namely, instruct jurors on the existence of bias, so that they can try to weigh it properly. To this end we test a recently enacted New Jersey instruction on eyewitness testimony. We find that jurors do not become more sensitive to low versus high evidence quality, but instead they discount the eyewitness testimony across the board. Across this inquiry, we deploy several novel tactics; in Chapter 5, for instance, we explore how continuous response measurement (CRM) can provide unique insights into the study of reasoning, and in particular how jurors parse trial evidence. We end in chapter 8 with a more general discussion of how behavioral science can be applied across law and policy.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
continuous response measurement; debias; eyewitness testimony; judgment and decision making; jury decision making; Psychology; blind expert
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Psychology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Nadel, Lynn

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleDebiasing the Courtroom: Using Behavioral Insights to Avoid and Mitigate Cognitive Biasesen_US
dc.creatorYokum, David Vincenten
dc.contributor.authorYokum, David Vincenten
dc.date.issued2014en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.releaseRelease after 6-Apr-2017en
dc.description.abstractHow can empirical science, and psychology in particular, be harnessed to avoid or eliminate unwanted biases? The body of work herein explores this question across twelve experiments. The first approach we consider is placing the onus on the individual to root out any already existing bias within him or herself. Chapter 3, for example, presents experiments that assess whether people (viz., jurors during voir dire) can accurately "self-diagnose" when they are irreparably biased by negative pretrial publicity. (The answer is a resounding no). A second approach is to try and avoid letting bias enter the courtroom in the first place. Chapter 4, for example, provides an experimental test of an institutional solution known as blind expertise, wherein certain biases of an expert witness are avoided by having an intermediary pick the expert, and then having the expert render an opinion before knowing which litigant made the request. In Chapter 7, we consider a third approach to handling bias, one that concedes it will exist in the courtroom. Namely, instruct jurors on the existence of bias, so that they can try to weigh it properly. To this end we test a recently enacted New Jersey instruction on eyewitness testimony. We find that jurors do not become more sensitive to low versus high evidence quality, but instead they discount the eyewitness testimony across the board. Across this inquiry, we deploy several novel tactics; in Chapter 5, for instance, we explore how continuous response measurement (CRM) can provide unique insights into the study of reasoning, and in particular how jurors parse trial evidence. We end in chapter 8 with a more general discussion of how behavioral science can be applied across law and policy.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectcontinuous response measurementen
dc.subjectdebiasen
dc.subjecteyewitness testimonyen
dc.subjectjudgment and decision makingen
dc.subjectjury decision makingen
dc.subjectPsychologyen
dc.subjectblind experten
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorNadel, Lynnen
dc.contributor.committeememberRobertson, Christopher T.en
dc.contributor.committeememberNichols, Shaunen
dc.contributor.committeememberPiattelli-Palmarini, Massimoen
dc.contributor.committeememberConnolly, Terryen
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.