Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/174503
Authors: 
Engel, Christoph
Glöckner, Andreas
Timme, Sinika
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
Preprints of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2017/24
Abstract: 
From a normative perspective the order in which evidence is presented should not bias legal judgment. Yet psychological research on how individuals process conflicting evidence sug-gests that order could matter. The evidence shows that decision-makers dissolve ambiguity by forging coherence. This process could lead to a primacy effect: initial tentative interpretations bias the view on later conflicting evidence. Or the process could result in a recency effect: the evidence presented last casts decisive light on the case. In two studies (N1 = 221, N2 = 332) we test these competing hypotheses in a mock legal case. Legal orders sometimes even expect judges to provisionally assess the evidence. At least they have a hard time preventing this from happening. To test whether this creates or exacerbates bias, in the second dimensions, we explicitly demand experimental participants to express their leaning, after having seen half of the evidence. We consistently observe recency effects and no interactions with leanings. If the legal order wants to preempt false convictions, defendant should have the last word.
Subjects: 
criminal procedure
presumption of innocence
recency
primacy
JEL: 
C91
D01
D02
D91
K41
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size
1.17 MB





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.