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The Psychology of Judicial Decision Making$
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David E. Klein and Gregory Mitchell

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367584.001.0001

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Expertise of Court Judges

Expertise of Court Judges

(p.269) 16 Expertise of Court Judges
The Psychology of Judicial Decision Making

James Shanteau

Len Dalgleish

Oxford University Press

We argue that expert performance is not best understood and assessed in terms of general characteristics applying across all domains. Rather, it should be analyzed in the context of the specific tasks that experts in a particular domain are called on to accomplish. Drawing on a substantial line of research from psychology, we argue that considerable empirical evidence supports this domain-specific view of expert competence, that there are reasons to believe this view holds with respect to court judges, and that, to be as fair and useful as possible, assessments of judicial performance should incorporate this view.

Keywords:   judicial behavior, judicial performance, judicial evaluation, expertise, competence, domain differences, gold standards, taxonomy of intellectual tasks, internal consistency, consensus and disagreement

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