Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Psychology of Judicial Decision Making$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 July 2020

The Supreme Court, Social Psychology, and Group Formation

The Supreme Court, Social Psychology, and Group Formation

(p.85) 6 The Supreme Court, Social Psychology, and Group Formation
The Psychology of Judicial Decision Making

Neal Devins

Will Federspiel

Oxford University Press

The Justices of the Supreme Court function not just as individuals but also as members of a group. Political science models of Supreme Court decision making, however, focus on the legal and policy goals of individual Supreme Court Justices. By not taking into account what role intra-group dynamics may play in Court decision making, political science models provide an incomplete and inaccurate picture. For example, when there is an ideologically simpatico majority coalition on the Court, the preferences of the Court's median Justice often give way to intra-group preferences. In this chapter, we employ social psychology literature to examine both the importance of and the obstacles to group formation. By comparing differences in decision making of the (largely simpatico) New Dal Court and the (very diverse) Rehnquist Court, we illustrate how social psychology can contribute to an understanding of Supreme Court decision making.

Keywords:   supreme Court, appellate courts, collegiality, group decision making, intra-group dynamics, judicial decision making

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .