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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1755707
 
 

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Abstract Principles and Concrete Cases in Intuitive Lawmaking


Ira Mark Ellman


Arizona State University College of Law; Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology

Sanford L. Braver


Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology

Robert MacCoun


Stanford Law School

February 5, 2011

Law and Human Behavior, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Citizens awaiting jury service were asked a series of items, in Likert format, to determine their endorsement of various statements about principles to use in setting child support amounts. These twenty items were derived from extant child support systems, from past literature and from Ellman and Ellman’s (2008) Theory of Child Support. The twenty items were found to coalesce into four factors (principles). There were pervasive gender differences in respondent’s endorsement of the principles. More importantly, three of these four principles were systematically reflected, in very rational (if complex) ways, in the respondents’ resolution of the individual child support cases they were asked to decide. Differences among respondents in their endorsement of these three principles accounted for differences in their patterns of child support judgments. It is suggested that the pattern of coherent arbitrariness (Ariely, Loewenstein, & Prelec, 2003) in those support judgments, noted in an earlier study (Ellman, Braver, and MacCoun 2009) is thus partially explained, in that the seeming arbitrariness of respondents’ initial support judgments reflect in part their differing views about the basic principles that should decide the cases.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

Keywords: child support, decisionmaking, judgments

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Date posted: February 8, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Ellman, Ira Mark and Braver, Sanford L. and MacCoun, Robert, Abstract Principles and Concrete Cases in Intuitive Lawmaking (February 5, 2011). Law and Human Behavior, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1755707

Contact Information

Ira Mark Ellman (Contact Author)
Arizona State University College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-2125 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.asu.edu/HomePages/Ellman/
Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology ( email )
Tempe, AZ 85287-1104
United States
Sanford L. Braver
Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology ( email )
Tempe, AZ 85287-1104
United States
Robert MacCoun
Stanford Law School ( email )
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

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