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Abstract

Research on the effects of emotions and moods on judgments of legal responsibility and blame is reviewed. Emotions and moods may influence decision makers in 3 ways: by affecting their information processing strategies, by inclining their judgments in the direction of the valence of the emotion or mood, and/or by providing informational cues to the proper decision. A model is proposed that incorporates these effects and further distinguishes among various affective influences in terms of whether the affect is provoked by a source integral or incidental to the judgment task, and whether it affects judgment directly (e.g., by providing an informational cue to judgment) or indirectly (e.g., by affecting construal of judgment target features, which in turn affects the judgment). Legal decision makers' abilities to correct for any affective influences they perceive to be undesirable and normative implications for legal theory and practice are briefly discussed.
... Emotions are complex, multifaceted reactions that reflect judgments about the relationships people hold between themselves and their immediate social and physical environment (Lerner et al., 2015;So et al., 2015). They are affective states, which include feelings, cognitions, and actions or inclinations to act at either conscious or unconscious levels (Coget et al., 2011;Feigenson & Park, 2006). Emotions are relatively short lived and vary in valence (i.e., pleasant vs. unpleasant) and intensity (high intensity vs. low intensity (Coget et al., 2011). ...
... Mood, on the other hand, is a less intense, more diffuse feeling that has a longer duration as compared to emotions (Coget et al., 2011;Feigenson & Park, 2006;Lerner et al., 2015). People do not necessarily know the cause of their moods, which can be incidental (i.e., feelings unrelated to the studies main task) or integral (i.e., feelings that arise from a decision at hand) (Coget et al., 2011;Lerner et al., 2015). ...
... People do not necessarily know the cause of their moods, which can be incidental (i.e., feelings unrelated to the studies main task) or integral (i.e., feelings that arise from a decision at hand) (Coget et al., 2011;Lerner et al., 2015). The most common categorization of moods is valence based (i.e., positive or negative) (Feigenson & Park, 2006). ...
Article
Despite US Federal legislation mandating legal professionals treat anyone under the age of 18 involved in commercial sex acts as a victim and not an offender of prostitution, US States differ in their treatment of sexually exploited youth. One potential explanation for the differing treatment of sex trafficked youth could arise from the decision-makers emotional reaction towards these youth. Thus, I conducted two experiments to explore the impact of negative moral emotions on decisions involving child sex trafficking under varying case fact patterns. In Experiment 1, I manipulated youth sex, vulnerability background, and prior arrest history, and trafficker sex to determine under what circumstances emotions influence child sex trafficking decisions. Two different paths emerged depending on the youth’s sex, such that participants reported greater victim responsibility and greater negative moral emotions towards Chris (male youth) when he had a prior arrest for a commercial sex act, which in turn predicted a lower likelihood and certainty in recommending social services over legal consequences, but only when he was trafficked by a female. For the female youth (“Sarah”), participants reported lower believability ratings when she had a prior arrest for commercial sex acts, which in turn predicted a lower likelihood and certainty in recommending social services over legal consequences, regardless of trafficker sex. Experiment 2 sought to combat the emotional biases by engaging participants in one of four emotion regulation conditions. Similar to Experiment 1, I manipulated youth prior arrest history and vulnerability background in addition to the emotion regulation manipulation for the female youth and male trafficker vignette. Unlike Experiment 1, I failed to find any effects for prior arrest history, but I did find that participants who were instructed to suppress their emotions significantly reduced their negative moral emotions between Time 1 and Time 2, which in turn predicted a greater likelihood of recommending social services over legal consequences. Future directions and limitations are discussed. Advisor: Dr. Richard L. Wiener
... As people receive more COVID-19 related information, anticipated vaccine-refusal regret might arise when the environment is perceived to contain the COVID-19 threat to health and the vaccines are considered effective against COVID-19 infection. As a typical emotional response to risk, anticipated regret impacts cognitive evaluation of uncertain situations (Nabi, 2002), and influences people's attribution of the responsibility that subsequently determines their behavioral outcomes (Feigenson & Park, 2006). This is because, in collectivistic countries, including China, where individuals adopt a collectivistic mind-set and care more for the greater good, a cognitive sense of collective responsibility to overcome the pandemic is easier to be evoked when people were exposed to COVID-19 related information (Lu et al., 2021;Maaravi et al., 2021). ...
... Anticipated regret is contingent on the situation assessment of the pandemic framed on the media, which influences cognitive appraisals, which in turn influence the attribution of responsibility. This view is consistent with the strong association found between emotions and attribution of responsibility (Cheng & Lin, 2016;Feigenson & Park, 2006). Feigenson and Park (2006) extended the original attribution theory by considering the role of emotions in the association between media and attribution of responsibility. ...
... This view is consistent with the strong association found between emotions and attribution of responsibility (Cheng & Lin, 2016;Feigenson & Park, 2006). Feigenson and Park (2006) extended the original attribution theory by considering the role of emotions in the association between media and attribution of responsibility. Specifically, emotions aroused by certain information is a key psychological mechanism catalyzing the influence of information on the attribution of responsibility. ...
Article
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While public health communication has been suggested to be a key for improving acceptance of COVID19 vaccination, this study tested mediation pathways through which three types of vaccine information acquisition, i.e. seeking, scanning, and discussing, affect COVID-19 vaccination intention. The pathways comprise two mediators, i.e. anticipated regret due to inaction and collective responsibility. Results suggest that information seeking and discussing may have encouraged the intention to get vaccinated, but mainly indirectly through the two mediators. Information seeking and discussing may have elicited anticipated regret and collective responsibility, which in turn increased vaccination intention. The paths from information scanning were smaller in effect sizes and statistically unacknowledged. Implications and limitations are discussed.
... People have been proven to be more vulnerable to heuristic cues and processing at times of uncertainty, such as during a pandemic. 27 In the evaluated studies, exposure to a responsibility attribution frame acted as heuristic cues, leading to increased heuristic processing, with discrete negative emotions and risk perception acting as mediators. 16 As a result, communication professionals such as journalists, media people, and legislators should pay close attention to how the public processes and perceives pandemic information from various media while establishing the agenda for disaster response measures. ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated psychological distress led people to engage in attributing several health-related behaviors and consequences at the community and international levels. A scoping review was conducted to explore the existing literature on the use of attribution theory in understanding the psychological phenomena underlying health-related behavior and consequences during the pandemic. We conducted the literature review using Arksey and O’Malley’s methodological framework for scoping review. Studies were identified through a comprehensive search of the followingsix databases: MEDLINE through PubMed, ProQuest, JSTOR, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar. All databases were searched for entries in English from September 2019 to September 2021 to correspond to the advent of the pandemic. Several elements influence attributions and the influences of the attributions on people’s responses to information and the consequences of attributions in influencing people’s responses to information and behaviorchanges in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of attribution errors leading to stigmatization and responsibility framing, both crucial for implementing pandemic control measures and enhancing psychological well-being, were also highlighted. More research is needed in this field to inform people-centered policies and pandemic preparedness plans to mitigate the potentially devastating psychosocial consequence of the pandemic or other public health emergencies.
... (ii) Current computer technologies are advancing by folds compared to traditional technologies such as electricity. Law needs to be predictable (Feigenson & Park, 2006), i.e., the law must remain stable for a considerable amount of time to allow parties to agree while predicting the obligations of the agreed upon contract. For this reason, the law gets updated in stages over a long period of time which makes it lag disruptive technologies. ...
Chapter
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Blockchain appears to be the most attractive in the future because of its distributed ledger technology and gain of popularity in industry and academics. Every peer in a blockchain network keeps the copy of a ledger and maintains consistency with the help of consensus algorithms. The advantage of using the blockchain is immutability, security, and transparency. Here in this paper, we have discussed Hyperledger framework and its tools in detail; this platform is hosted by Linux Foundation. Hyperledger is created to promote blockchain technologies. Hyperledger framework includes Fabric, Burrow, Indy, Grid, Iroha, Sawtooth, and various tools like Caliper, Cello, Composer, Explorer, Quilt, and Ursa. This framework and its tool can be used in various fields like creating any business models, creation of on-demand blockchain module, mobile applications, the building of supply chain solution, and many more. Hence, We have discussed several applications and challenges faced by blockchain technology beyond cryptocurrency.
... Current computer technologies are advancing by folds compared to traditional technologies such as electricity. Law needs to be predictable [39] i.e. the law must remain stable for a considerable amount of time to allow parties to agree while predicting the obligations of the agreed upon contract. For this reason, the law gets updated in stages over a long period of time which makes it lag disruptive technologies. ...
Chapter
AI, IoT, and blockchain are disruptive technologies that impact how businesses are operated, contracts are designed, and decisions are made. Legislators and the judicial system are struggling to cope with the fast development of technology and its new scenarios that are not considered by the law. These technologies pose ethical dilemmas which limit the judges’ capability of drawing scientific and consistent decisions. Nevertheless, the business opportunities facilitated by these technologies are revolutionary and already shaping the market. This business vs. ethics and law competition is critical for the survival of any technology and investments poured in its development or adoption. It is thus important and timely to understand how legislators, developers, and businessmen should cooperate to shape the future of these technologies’ corporations and ultimately societies. In this chapter, we try to identify some of the key challenges and opportunities proposed by AI, IoT, and blockchain. We also try to analyze these challenges and draw conclusions.
Preprint
In legal decision-making, the outcome severity of a crime and the subject's moral character are not to be considered to ascribe inculpating mental states (mentes reae). Inconsistent with the concept of mens rea, previous research showed that professional judges are affected by the outcome severity in their ascription of intention (Kneer & Bourgeois-Gironde, 2017). Following Alicke (2000), we hypothesize that an affect-driven information processing could explain these findings. We assume that a more severe outcome (e.g., the victim being paralyzed) evokes stronger negative affect than a less severe outcome (e.g., the victim suffering some bruises). The negative affect, in turn, fosters the desire to blame the subject and the ascription of inculpating mental states. Similar processes might occur if judges or juries are confronted with information about the suspect's moral character (see, e.g., Nadelhoffer, 2006). A harm-causing suspect with a bad moral character might evoke stronger negative affect than a harm-causing suspect with a good moral character. Testing these hypotheses, we ran two studies (study A with a sample of laypeople, N=344 and study B with a sample of legal experts, N=130, including 17 judges, 24 prosecutors, and 56 attorneys). In both studies, participants read a case description with information about the suspect's moral character (good or bad) and the severity of the outcome (moderate or severe). After reading the case description, participants reported their negative affect and made an initial ascription of blame to the suspect (ex-ante). Participants then evaluated further evidence about the case before judging the suspect's mental state and giving their final judgments of blame (ex-post). In study B, we found that aggregating across the two outcome conditions, legal experts reported stronger negative affect, ascribed more blame, and were more willing to ascribe inculpating states of mind if the suspect had a bad moral character than if the suspect had a good moral character (all ps<.001; all ds> .50). For outcome severity, we only found a significant effect on negative affect (d=.42; p<.05) and blame ex-ante (d=.35; p<.05). In study A, we found similar results. 2 Interestingly, after evaluating further evidence, moral character had bigger effects on the ascription of blame (ex-post) and mens rea in the study with experts than in the study with laypeople, even though legal experts reported a smaller level of initial blame (ex-ante) and negative affect compared to laypeople. A possible explanation is that experts might suppress their negative affect and initial desire to blame, knowing that they should be objective in their judgment and not consider character information to ascribe mental states. However, with the additional cognitive load (evaluating further evidence), the capacity for suppression might diminish, and the influence of the affective-laden information becomes all the more apparent. In the end, both fact finders in civil law jurisdictions (juries of laypeople) and common law jurisdictions (judges as legal experts) ascribe mens rea inconsistently with the concept of mens rea supposedly at the foundation of criminal and tort law.
Article
Determining the influence of irrelevant victim information on potential jurors is particularly important in the current age of social media. The present study explored the effects of pretrial publicity concerning the complainant shared via social media posts, mock juror sex, and rape myth acceptance on mock juror judgments in a sexual assault case. One hundred and fifty-six community members residing in the United States (77 males, 78 females, 1 decline to answer) over the age of 18 were randomly assigned to view either pro-complainant (n = 52), anti-complainant (n = 53), or control (n = 51) messaging in social media posts before reading a mock sexual assault trial transcript, completing a post-trial questionnaire, and answering questions about rape myth acceptance. Results indicated that participants in the anti-complainant condition were significantly less likely to select a guilty verdict compared to the control condition. Male participants and those that believed consent was present were also significantly less likely to select a guilty verdict. Moreover, participants with higher rape myth acceptance were more likely to believe that the complainant had consented. Results highlight social media as a potential source of exposure of inadmissible pretrial information that may influence trial outcomes.
Chapter
Der Begriff Social Engineering hat in den vergangenen Jahren an Popularität gewonnen im Zusammenhang mit Delikten, die im Territorium des Cyberspace verübt werden. In Vergessenheit geriet jedoch die Tatsache, dass die Beeinflussung und Manipulation von Menschen seit frühester Evolutionsgeschichte ein fester Bestandteil sämtlicher Kulturen ist. Jede Aktion eines Individuums setzt eine Reaktion in seinem realen oder virtuellen sozialen Umfeld in Gang. Die Entscheidungsfindung jedes Individuums oder eines Zusammenschlusses von Individuen in einer Gruppe, Organisation oder einem Unternehmen ist beeinflusst, wenn nicht sogar manipuliert. Die Erkenntnisse der Neurowissenschaft belegen die daraus abgeleiteten Verhaltensweisen im Umgang mit Situationen, die bei exponierten Individuen Stress auslösen. Durch das Bewusstsein dieser Dimensionen der Manipulation, Beeinflussung und Entscheidungsfindung unter Stress werden die Verantwortungsträger bei der Beurteilung von Entscheidungsgrundlagen und in ihrer eigenen Entscheidungsfindung unterstützt.
Article
For certain crimes there is a tendency in the United States to blame individuals for their victimization. Previous work has shown that affective states can impact blame attribution. Drawing upon this work, the purpose of the current pre-registered research was to examine the relation between affective disgust and victim blame attribution. In Study 1, as participants’ (N = 203) level of implicit disgust associations with gay men increased, their tendency to blame a gay male homicide victim also increased, whereas their agreement that the homicide qualified as a hate crime decreased. In Study 2, disgust was experimentally induced by exposing participants (N = 431) to disgusting (e.g., vomit, insects) or neutral images (e.g., mug, stapler). Inducing disgust increased victim blame and decreased perceptions that the homicide constituted a hate crime. However, exploratory mediation analyses in both studies showed that the impact of disgust on hate crime applications is best explained as an indirect effect of victim blame. Taken together, these findings suggest that both individual differences in implicit gay-disgust and situational feelings of disgust may underlie people’s perceptions of how blameworthy a victim is for the crime committed against them.
Chapter
Who is to blame when autonomous vehicles are involved in accidents? We report findings from an online study in which the attribution of blame and trust were measured from 206 participants who studied 18 hypothetical vignettes portraying traffic incidents under different driving environments. The focal vehicle involved in the incident was either controlled by a human driver or autonomous system. The accident severity also varied from near miss, minor accident to major accident. Participants applied double standards when assigning blame to humans and autonomous systems: an autonomous system was usually blamed more than a human driver for executing the same actions under the same circumstances with the same consequences. These findings not only have important implications to AI-related legislation, but also highlight the necessity to promote the design of robots and other automation systems which can help calibrate public perceptions and expectations of their characteristics and capabilities.
Article
This study explores the conditions under which experimentally primed anger influences both attributions of responsibility and the processes by which people make such attributions. Drawing on social functional theory, it was hypothesized that people are best thought of as ‘intuitive prosecutors’ who lower their thresholds for making attributions of harmful intent and recommending harsh punishment when they both witness a serious transgression of societal norms and believe that the transgressor escaped punishment. The data support the hypotheses. Anger primed by a serious crime ‘carried over’ to influence judgments of unrelated acts of harm only when the perpetrator of the crime went unpunished, notwithstanding the arousal of equally intense anger in conditions in which the perpetrator was appropriately punished or his fate was unknown. Participants in the perpetrator-unpunished condition also relied on simpler and more punitive attributional heuristics for inferring responsibility for harm. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Chapter
This chapter examines some of the literature demonstrating an impact of affect on social behavior. It will consider the influence of affect on cognition in an attempt to further understand on the way cognitive processes may mediate the effect of feelings on social behavior. The chapter describes the recent works suggesting an influence of positive affect on flexibility in cognitive organization (that is, in the perceived relatedness of ideas) and the implications of this effect for social interaction. The goal of this research is to expand the understanding of social behavior and the factors, such as affect, that influence interaction among people. Another has been to extend the knowledge of affect, both as one of these determinants of social behavior and in its own right. And a third has been to increase the understanding of cognitive processes, especially as they play a role in social interaction. Most recently, cognitive and social psychologists have investigated ways in which affective factors may participate in cognitive processes (not just interrupt them) and have begun to include affect as a factor in more comprehensive models of cognition. The research described in the chapter has focused primarily on feelings rather than intense emotion, because feelings are probably the most frequent affective experiences. The chapter focuses primarily on positive affect.
Article
Argument: The 'Hammer & Nails' with which he constructs winning cases. The greatest gift is the gift of learning; not complete until it is passed on. Argument is the affirmation of our being. Argument is the principal instrument of human intercourse. Without argument, THE SPECIES WOULD PERISH. We must argue: To Help, Warn, Lead, Love, to Create, Learn, Enjoy Justice, to BE. The Art of Argument is the Art of Living We argue because we must. Life itself demands it. Because, at last, Life itself…is but an argument. It is indeed an ART. There is a technique; a mindset. But, EVERYONE can make a winning argument (anywhere). The Powerful Argument comes, not from disavowing our Divine Uniqueness in favor of someone else's style, or values, but from tapping into the wondrous well of our own personhood. Why do we fail to win when we argue? The enemy is not the other, or our lack of voice or presence, lack of genius, wit, or words. We fail because we affix certain locks to ourselves, that imprison our arg., bar us from assuming a successful stance and adopting a winning method. We will identify the disabling Locks and the enabling Keys. The Locks are Yours. But so are the Keys. Let us learn how both to argue and how not to argue; to combat the powers of others and to empower ourselves; to recognize our fear and overcome it…to create, to sing, and to let our souls run free. Let us proceed with unrestrained passion in our play. Let us learn how to argue, and to win…every time. Learn to open the doors and free the psyche. Why Argue? LOCK 1: "I don't like to argue, and I don't like people who do. So why not try to get along? Besides, when I argue, I lose." Remember, we were born to make the winning argument. We don't need silver hair or booming voice; we can speak quietly in our kitchens and win. We don't need speech lessons, or vocabulary. With our bosses, our spouses… But locked in our psychic closets, we can never make a winning argument. Sometimes we've locked ourselves in; sometimes, by parents or teachers, or ourselves. How did we get so bound up, so hunkered down, so mute? From the moment we were born, we have been conditioned to avoid confrontation 1. Cries muffled w/bottles. We've been taught as puppies are taught: "Don't bark." Parents, teachers, preachers, priests unleashed immense pressures upon us. They forced us to accept their ways, their religion, their philosophy, their values; conventions, politics; their…wisdom. The powers of community norms create boundaries of mind and spirit that stand intolerant of challenge. We've been turned into walking, lumbering, laboring, …mostly trouble-free machinery. We've learned it is better to conform than to be. "Argue? How dare we argue!" But the human spirit is like the dandelion growing in the garden. We should discover and cherish that little hair-root that is each of us. KEY 1: We need only give ourselves permission-our permission-to look out of our little closets; step out, look around, ask questions, demand respect, share our creativity and ideas; to speak out; search for love; seek justice; TO BE. LOCK 2: "I'm afraid to argue; it just causes trouble. How can we argue with people we love; alienate our families; anger our friends, our fellow workers, our employers? You only lose when you argue." Our experience affirms that "Silence is safe." This fear that disables us…how do we deal with it? KEY 2: Fear is our ally. Fear confirms US. Fear is ENERGY that is convertible to power – OUR POWER. Fear is friend and foe alike; adversary and ally. Fear is painful. Yet, it challenges me. It energizes my senses. In the presence of fear, I become alert. I have learned not to be ashamed of my fear, but to embrace it. One cannot be brave without it; for is not our bravery merely the facing of our fear? Fear confirms that at my heart core, life, not death, is the authority. The dead are not afraid. Fear is the painful affirmation of my being. To affirm myself is to experience the courage to make the argument. For, All Arguments Begin With Me. To affirm our fear is.. The Courage To Be. Argument springs out of our authority; It escapes from us as our thought and feeling. As our sounds, our music, our rhythms. When we give ourselves permission, the argument bursts out of our lungs…out of the words born of our hearts. When we give ourselves permission, we re-discover our will to win.