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The Good Fight: The Egocentric Bias, the Aversion to Cognitive Dissonance, and the American Criminal Law

12 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2014 Last revised: 12 Feb 2014

Daniel S. Medwed

Northeastern University - School of Law

Date Written: February 3, 2014

Abstract

The phrase “cognitive bias” often has negative connotations. It is something to be overcome, thwarted, or, at best, circumvented. In this essay, I suggest that two interrelated cognitive biases — the egocentric bias and the aversion to cognitive dissonance — might instead serve as potential assets for a criminal law practitioner in persuading her constituencies.

Keywords: criminal law, cognitive bias, aversion of cognitive dissonance, egocentric bias, self-serving bias

Suggested Citation

Medwed, Daniel S., The Good Fight: The Egocentric Bias, the Aversion to Cognitive Dissonance, and the American Criminal Law (February 3, 2014). Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 135-145, 2013; Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 174-2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2391794

Daniel S. Medwed (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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