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Authors: Imhoff, Roland
Nickolaus, Christoph
Title: Combined anchoring : prosecution and defense claims as sequential anchors in the courtroom
Online publication date: 14-Nov-2022
Year of first publication: 2021
Language: english
Abstract: Purpose When making judgements under uncertainty not only lay people but also professional judges often rely on heuristics like a numerical anchor (e.g., a numerical sentencing demand) to generate a numerical response. As the prosecution has the privilege to present its demand first, some scholars have speculated about an anchoring-based unfair disadvantage for the defence (who has the last albeit less effective word in court). Despite the plausibility of this reasoning, it is based on a hitherto untested assumption that the first of two sequential anchors exerts a greater influence on a later judgement (a primacy effect). We argue that it is also conceivable that the last word in court has a recency advantage (a recency effect) or that order does not matter as both demands even each other out (a combined anchor). Methods We report a pre-registered experiment with German law students (N = 475) who were randomly assigned to six experimental conditions in a study on legal decision-making order to test these three possibilities. Results Results indicate an influence of both the prosecution and the defence recommendation, but no effect of order. Conclusion This provides strong support for combined anchoring even for knowledgeable participants and rich case material. Specifically, the data are best compatible with the notion that both anchors exert an influence but each on different individuals. The implications of this finding for theory and legal decision-making are discussed.
DDC: 150 Psychologie
150 Psychology
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 02 Sozialwiss., Medien u. Sport
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY-NC
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Journal: Legal and criminological psychology
Pages or article number: 215
Publisher: Wiley
Publisher place: Hoboken, NJ u.a.
Issue date: 2021
ISSN: 2044-8333
Publisher DOI: 10.1111/lcrp.12192
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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