The Misquantification of Probative Value

Law & Human Behavior, Vol. 27, No. 6, pp. 645-659, December 2003

Penn State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-2009

16 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2009 Last revised: 28 Oct 2009

See all articles by Jonathan J. Koehler

Jonathan J. Koehler

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law

David H. Kaye

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law; Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law - School of Life Science

Abstract

D. Davis and W.C. Follette (2002) purport to show that when “the base rate” for a crime is low, the probative value of “characteristics known to be strongly associated with the crime…will be virtually nil”. Their analysis rests on the choice of an arbitrary and inapposite measure of the probative value of evidence. When a more suitable metric is used (e.g., a likelihood ratio), it becomes clear that evidence they would dismiss as devoid of probative value is relevant and diagnostic.

Keywords: Evidence, inference, probative value

Suggested Citation

Koehler, Jonathan J. and Kaye, David H., The Misquantification of Probative Value. Law & Human Behavior, Vol. 27, No. 6, pp. 645-659, December 2003; Penn State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1469676

Jonathan J. Koehler (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

David H. Kaye

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.personal.psu.edu/dhk3/index.htm

Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law - School of Life Science ( email )

111 E Taylor St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.personal.psu.edu/dhk3/index.htm

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