Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Using our Brains: What Cognitive Science and Social Psychology Teach us About Teaching Law Students to Make Ethical, Professionally Responsible, Choices

65 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2005  

Alan M. Lerner

University of Pennsylvania, Law School (Deceased)

Abstract

Throughout our lives, below the level of our consciousness, each of us develops values, intuitions, expectations, and needs that powerfully affect both our perceptions and our judgments. Placed in situations in which we feel threatened, or which implicate our values, our brains, relying on those implicitly learned, emotionally weighted, memories, may react automatically, without reflection or the opportunity for reflective interdiction. We can "downshift," to primitive, self-protective problem solving techniques. Because these processes operate below the radar of our consciousness, automatic, "emotional" reaction, rather than thoughtful, reasoned analysis may drive our responses to stressful questions of ethics and professional responsibility.

Keywords: ethics, legal education, professional responsibility, teaching ethics, teaching professional responsibility

JEL Classification: I20, K00

Suggested Citation

Lerner, Alan M., Using our Brains: What Cognitive Science and Social Psychology Teach us About Teaching Law Students to Make Ethical, Professionally Responsible, Choices. Quinnipiac Law Review, Vol. 23, p. 643, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=647709

Alan M. Lerner (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania, Law School (Deceased)

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
360
Rank
67,976
Abstract Views
2,610