Friday, April 23, 2010

Judges, Judging, Decisionmaking, and Neuroscience

Horvitz partner M.C. Sungaila has an intriguing article in today's DJ on the neuroscience of decisionmaking.  Drawing from Jonah Lehrer's "How We Decide," she makes some counterintuitive yet ultimately persuasive claims: 
  • Practical reasoning needs the constraint of emotion
  • Intuition is not irrational; it's super-rational
  • Sympahy informs moral judgments
  • Dissent improves decisions
M.C. concludes that these observations apply equally to judicial decisionmaking . . . and to "the judicial selection process itself."

I've omitted her fascinating examples.  Pick up the DJ to read her article and learn more.  Good stuff!