Monday, January 31, 2011

Bias Blind Spot

This is an excellent article on how we are blind to our own biases.

This is a great article on how we are blind to our own biases. Those interested in how jurors have difficulty recognizing their own blind spots and biases will find this article useful. I am always fascinated with how jurors live their lives with their experiencing selves but when jurors judge plaintiffs they do it with their remembering selves. Jurors do not search their memory for how they actually experienced something such as an interaction with a doctor but instead call upon their remembering self and not surprisingly recall, with the benefit of hindsight, the ideal behavior that would have prevented the harm . Thus, jurors remember themselves as super rational actors ( e.g super patients, super drivers and super consumers) when in truth many jurors have behaved just like the plaintiff. That is why focusing the jurors on the plaintiff's conduct too early in opening may increase the temptation to be super critical of plaintiff. So what can we do about this psychological conundrum. One suggestion is to remind jurors in closing that the plaintiff behaved like most people would actually behave in these circumstances, but this may too late to overcome the problem. Creating, unconsciously, a bond between plaintiff and jurors using bonding and attachment metaphors during the plaintiff's direct may help. Still, the best solution has to be to show that the defendant acted to serve his own interest knowing it created a risk of harm to others, including plaintiff. I am really interested in how others handle this problem. Psychologists have referred to this as naive realism --- jurors act as if they always act as reasonable as necessary to prevent harm to themselves. Any thoughts? D

No comments:

Post a Comment