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  Defendant Should Have the Last Word – Experimentally Manipulating Order and Provisional Assessment of the Facts in Criminal Procedure

Engel, C., Glöckner, A., & Timme, S. (2017). Defendant Should Have the Last Word – Experimentally Manipulating Order and Provisional Assessment of the Facts in Criminal Procedure.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-571A-3 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-571C-0
Genre: Paper

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 Creators:
Engel, Christoph1, Author              
Glöckner, Andreas1, Author              
Timme, Sinika, Author
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society, ou_2173688              

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Free keywords: criminal procedure, presumption of innocence, recency, primacy
 JEL: C91 - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
 JEL: D01 - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
 JEL: D02 - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
 JEL: D91 - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
 JEL: K41 - Litigation Process
 Abstract: From a normative perspective the order in which evidence is presented should not bias legal judgment. Yet psychological research on how individuals process conflicting evidence sug-gests that order could matter. The evidence shows that decision-makers dissolve ambiguity by forging coherence. This process could lead to a primacy effect: initial tentative interpretations bias the view on later conflicting evidence. Or the process could result in a recency effect: the evidence presented last casts decisive light on the case. In two studies (N1 = 221, N2 = 332) we test these competing hypotheses in a mock legal case. Legal orders sometimes even expect judges to provisionally assess the evidence. At least they have a hard time preventing this from happening. To test whether this creates or exacerbates bias, in the second dimensions, we explicitly demand experimental participants to express their leaning, after having seen half of the evidence. We consistently observe recency effects and no interactions with leanings. If the legal order wants to preempt false convictions, defendant should have the last word.

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 Dates: 2017
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: Bonn : Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: Other: 2017/24
 Degree: -

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