Psychological Perspectives: Cognition and Decision Making

Chapter Three in Examining Wrongful Convictions: Stepping Back, Moving Forward, Carolina Academic Press, 2014 Forthcoming

20 Pages Posted: 20 May 2014  

Keith A. Findley

University of Wisconsin Law School

Barbara O'Brien

Michigan State University - College of Law

Date Written: May 19, 2014

Abstract

In this chapter from the forthcoming edited volume entitled, EXAMINING WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS: STEPPING BACK, MOVING FORWARD, we offer an overview of what social and cognitive psychological research can tell us about how people make decisions about investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating criminal cases. In particular, we examine the factors that can undermine the reliability of the judgments made at each of these stages of the criminal process, and how these phenomena might contribute to wrongful convictions. An impressive body of research exists demonstrating how the ways in which people process and use information can produce errors in the criminal justice system. This research has also taught us a lot about how to improve the accuracy of the system.

Keywords: Cognition, decision making, wrongful conviction, innocence, confirmation bias, belief perseverance, hindsight bias, mindset theory, cognitive dissonance, groupthink, just world

JEL Classification: K42

Suggested Citation

Findley, Keith A. and O'Brien, Barbara, Psychological Perspectives: Cognition and Decision Making (May 19, 2014). Chapter Three in Examining Wrongful Convictions: Stepping Back, Moving Forward, Carolina Academic Press, 2014 Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2438869

Keith A. Findley (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-262-4763 (Phone)
608-263-3380 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.wisc.edu/facstaff/biog.php?iID=269

Barbara O'Brien

Michigan State University - College of Law ( email )

318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
410
rank
64,355
Abstract Views
1,828
PlumX