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Law and NeuroscienceCurrent Legal Issues Volume 13$
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Michael Freeman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599844

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599844.001.0001

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Pathways to Persuasion: How Neuroscience Can Inform the Study and Practice of Law †

Pathways to Persuasion: How Neuroscience Can Inform the Study and Practice of Law †

Chapter:
(p.395) 20 Pathways to Persuasion: How Neuroscience Can Inform the Study and Practice of Law
Source:
Law and Neuroscience
Author(s):

Cheryl Boudreau

Seana Coulson

Mathew D. McCubbins (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599844.003.0020

This chapter examines how neuroscience can inform the study and practice of law. It begins with a brief overview of the EEG experiments that were used to study the behavioural and neural correlates of persuasion. It then describes the hypotheses, as well as the data and methods that used to test them. Next, experimental results on subjects' decisions, reaction times, and brain activity are summarized. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the substantive and methodological implications that the research has for debates about persuasion in courtroom settings. Specifically, it emphasizes that the experiments show the value of tying together both behavioural results and brain data in analyses of persuasion and trust. Although the study represents only a first step in this endeavour, future research on persuasion (and other topics of interest to legal scholars) can potentially benefit from simultaneously assessing behaviour and brain activity.

Keywords:   neuroscience, legal practice, persuasion, study of law

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