Judicial Decision Making

Is Psychology Relevant?

  • Lawrence S. Wrightsman

Part of the Perspectives in Law & Psychology book series (PILP, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    Pages 1-26
  3. Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    Pages 27-56
  4. Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    Pages 57-82
  5. Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    Pages 83-103
  6. Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    Pages 105-124
  7. Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    Pages 125-147
  8. Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    Pages 169-191
  9. Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    Pages 193-211
  10. Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    Pages 213-225
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 227-258

About this book


In the mid-1970s, as a social psychologist dedicated to the application of knowl­ edge, I welcomed our field's emerging interest in the legal system. I have al­ ways been fascinated by jury trials-something about the idea that two con­ ceptions of the truth were in irrevocable conflict and jurors could choose only one of them. More important, the criminal justice system is a major social force that has been ignored by social psychologists for most of the twentieth century. As I systematically began to explore the applications of social psycho­ logical concepts to the law 20 years ago, I experienced the delight of discovery similar to that of a child under a Christmas tree. It has been satisfying to be among the cohort of researchers who have studied the legal system, especially trial juries, from a psychological perspective. I believe we have learned much that would be useful if the system were to be revised. Hlf the system were to be revised" . . . there's the rub. As I have stated, my original motivation was the application of knowledge. Like other social scien­ tists, I believed-perhaps arrogantly-that the results of our research efforts could be used to make trial juries operate with more efficiency, accuracy, and satisfaction. Qver the last two decades, much knowledge has accumulated. How can we put this knowledge to work? Judges are the gatekeepers of the legal system.


Supreme Court cognition psychology

Authors and affiliations

  • Lawrence S. Wrightsman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KansasLawrenceUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4613-7178-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4615-4807-2
  • Series Print ISSN 0160-4422
  • Buy this book on publisher's site