Posted by The Situationist Staff on January 22, 2009
From the Science Podcast: Robert Frederick interviews Bertram Gawronski on how automatic mental associations predict future choices.
“Bertram Gawronski and colleagues report that they could predict the decision of 70% of those who indicated they were undecided about a controversial political issue. The prediction was based on testing people’s automatic mental associations, or how quickly people responded to and correctly categorized images and words. The results indicate that decision makers often already have made up their mind at an unconscious level, even when they consciously report they are still undecided.”
Open the file here or link to Science Podcast page here.
Posted in Abstracts, Choice Myth, Implicit Associations, Podcasts, Politics, Public Policy | Tagged: IAT, Implicit Associations, podcast, Policy preferences | Leave a Comment »
Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 7, 2008
Joshua Furgeson, Linda Babcock, and Peter Shane have a new article that will be of interest to many readers of the Situationist: “Do a Law’s Policy Implications Affect Beliefs About Its Constitutionality? An Experimental Test,” 32 Law Hum. Behav. 219 (2008). Here’s the abstract.
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Although a substantial empirical literature has found associations between judges’ political orientation and their judicial decisions, the nature of the relationship between policy preferences and constitutional reasoning remains unclear. In this experimental study, law students were asked to determine the constitutionality of a hypothetical law, where the policy implications of the law were manipulated while holding all legal evidence constant. The data indicate that, even with an incentive to select the ruling best supported by the legal evidence, liberal participants were more likely to overturn laws that decreased taxes than laws that increased taxes. The opposite pattern held for conservatives. The experimental manipulation significantly affected even those participants who believed their policy preferences had no influence on their constitutional decisions.
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For some related Situationist posts, see “The Political Situation of Judicial Activism,” “Justice Thomas and the Conservative Hypocrisy,” “The Motivated Situation of Morality,” “Jonathan Haidt on the Situation of Moral Reasoning,” “The Situation of Reason,” and “A Convenient Fiction.”
Posted in Abstracts, Choice Myth, Ideology, Law, Legal Theory, Morality | Tagged: Constitutional decisions, Judicial review, Legal decision making, motivated reasoning, Policy preferences | Leave a Comment »