'Ideology in' vs. 'Cultural Cognition of' Law: What Difference Does it Make?
Dan M. Kahan
Yale University - Law School
March 20, 2008
Harvard Law School Program on Risk Regulation Research Paper No. 08-22
Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 180
Recent scholarship in law and political science identifies ideology as a major determinant of judicial decisionmaking. This essay suggests the possibility that much if not all the evidence this work rests on might be attributed to the influence of cultural cognition, a set of mechanisms that motivate individuals to conform their factual perceptions to their values. Such an account has the potential to furnish a psychologically richer description of how competing values generate judicial dissensus, a more informed normative appraisal of such dissensus, and a more tractable set of prescriptions for reducing it.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
Keywords: cultural cognition, ideology, judicial decisionmaking
Date posted: March 25, 2008 ; Last revised: April 16, 2013