research report      name index      key word index      corresp.unit            Page in german      Imprint + Privacy Policy   

Third-party-funded project

In dubio contra reo? Anchoring effects as biases in juridical decision making and possibilities for their correction

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:

The anchoring effect - the assimilation of numerical judgments under uncertainty towards a previously considered anchor value ? proofs to be an extremely robust bias. Building on research on judgmental anchoring (Tversky & Kahneman, 1974) the present investigation examines in the juridical context whether a sentencing demand has a direct influence on a given sentence. Using criminal trial judges as participants recent studies in the juridical context revealed dramatic anchoring effects in the courtroom: Sentencing decisions in criminal cases are influenced by a given sentencing demand (the anchor), even if it is given by a non-expert, shouted in from the audience or obviously just drawn by fortune. In this research project we work on the question, how to correct for this bias.

Key words:
    Social Psychology
    Psychology of Law
    Social Cognition
    Juridical Decision Making

Projekt period: from 11.2001 to 12.2003

Funding institution:
DFG ,Granting date: 05.10.2001