Heuristics and the Law

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Overview

In recent decades, the economists' concept of rational choice has dominated legal reasoning. And yet, in practical terms, neither the lawbreakers the law addresses nor officers of the law behave as the hyperrational beings postulated by rational choice. Critics of rational choice and believers in "fast and frugal heuristics" propose another approach: using certain formulations or general principles (heuristics) to help navigate in an environment that is not a well-ordered setting with an occasional disturbance, as described in the language of rational choice, but instead is fundamentally uncertain or characterized by an unmanageable degree of complexity. This is the intuition behind behavioral law and economics. In Heuristics and the Law, experts in law,
psychology, and economics explore the conceptual and practical power of the heuristics approach in law. They discuss legal theory; modeling and predicting the problems the law purports to solve; the process of making law, in the legislature or in the courtroom; the application of existing law in the courts, particularly regarding the law of evidence; and implementation of the law and the impact of law on behavior.Contributors:Ronald J. Allen, Hal R. Arkes, Peter Ayton, Susanne Baer, Martin
Beckenkamp, Robert Cooter, Leda Cosmides, Mandeep K. Dhami, Robert C. Ellickson, Christoph Engel,
Richard A. Epstein, Wolfgang Fikentscher, Axel Flessner, Robert H. Frank, Bruno S. Frey, Gerd
Gigerenzer, Paul W. Glimcher, Daniel G. Goldstein, Chris Guthrie, Jonathan Haidt, Reid Hastie, Ralph
Hertwig, Eric J. Johnson, Jonathan J. Koehler, Russell Korobkin, Stephanie Kurzenhäuser, Douglas A.
Kysar, Donald C. Langevoort, Richard Lempert, Stefan Magen, Callia Piperides, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski,
Clara Sattler de Sousa e Brito, Joachim Schulz, Victoria A. Shaffer, Indra Spiecker genannt Döhmann,
John Tooby, Gerhard Wagner, Elke U. Weber, Bernd Wittenbrink

The MIT Press

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"Amos Tversky was one of the most important social scientists of the last century.
This extraordinary collection demonstrates his range and brilliance, and in particular his genius for showing how and why human intuitions go wrong. Is there a 'hot hand' in basketball? Is arthritis pain related to the weather? Why do we exaggerate certain risks? Why are some conflicts so hard to resolve? Tversky's answers will surprise you. Indispensable reading, and full of implications, for everyone interested in social science."--Cass R. Sunstein, Law School and Department of Political
Science, University of Chicago

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262072755
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Series: Dahlem Workshop Reports
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerd Gigerenzer is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. He is the author of Calculated Risks, among other books, and the coeditor of
Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox and Heuristics and the
Law
, both published by the MIT Press.

Christoph Engel is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods,
Bonn, and a member of the Faculty of Law and Economics at the University of Bonn. He is the author of Generating Predictability: Institutional Analysis and Design and other books.

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Table of Contents

1 Law and heuristics : an interdisciplinary venture 1
2 Heuristics 17
3 The problems with heuristics for law 45
4 Social dilemmas revisited from a heuristics perspective 61
5 Heuristics inside the firm : perspectives from behavioral law and economics 87
6 Group report : are heuristics a problem or a solution?
7 The optimal complexity of legal rules 141
8 Bottom-up versus top-down lawmaking 159
9 Evolutionary psychology, moral heuristics, and the law 175
10 The evolutionary and cultural origins of heuristics that influence lawmaking 207
11 Group report : what is the role of heuristics in making law?
12 Heuristics for applying laws to facts 259
13 Heuristics in procedural law 281
14 Train our jurors 303
15 Rules of evidence as heuristics - heuristics as rules of evidence 327
16 Group report : what is the role of heuristics in litigation?
17 Adapt or optimize? The psychology and economics of rules of evidence 379
18 Do legal rules rule behavior? 391
19 Should we use decision aids or gut feelings? 411
20 Law, information, and choice : capitalizing on heuristic habits of thought 425
21 Group report : how do heuristics mediate the impact of law on behavior?
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