Playing Dice With Criminal Sentences: The Influence of Irrelevant Anchors on Experts’ Judicial Decision Making

  title={Playing Dice With Criminal Sentences: The Influence of Irrelevant Anchors on Experts’ Judicial Decision Making},
  author={Birte Englich and Thomas Mussweiler and Fritz Strack},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  pages={188 - 200}
Judicial sentencing decisions should be guided by facts, not by chance. The present research however demonstrates that the sentencing decisions of experienced legal professionals are influenced by irrelevant sentencing demands even if they are blatantly determined at random. Participating legal experts anchored their sentencing decisions on a given sentencing demand and assimilated toward it even if this demand came from an irrelevant source (Study 1), they were informed that this demand was… 

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