Motivated Cognition in Legal Judgments — An Analytic Review

Posted: 6 Nov 2013  

Avani Mehta Sood

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Date Written: November 2013

Abstract

How and when do legal decision makers' preferred outcomes inadvertently drive their judgments? This psychological phenomenon, known as motivated cognition or motivated reasoning, has become an important topic of investigation among scholars conducting experimental research at the intersection of law and psychology. This article presents an overview of that literature, discusses some of its legal applications and implications, highlights areas that require further investigation, and considers some potential ways to curtail the covert operation of motivated cognition in the legal arena.

Suggested Citation

Sood, Avani Mehta, Motivated Cognition in Legal Judgments — An Analytic Review (November 2013). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 9, pp. 307-325, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2350734 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102612-134023

Avani Mehta Sood (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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