Multiple Constraint Satisfaction in Judging

Jennifer K. Robbennolt, Robert J. MacCoun, John M. Darley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Different models of judicial decision making highlight particular goals. Traditional legal theory posits that in making decisions judges strive to reach the correct legal decision as dictated by precedent. Attitudinal and strategic models focuses on the ways in which judges further their preferred policies. The managerial model emphasizes the increasing caseload pressures that judges at all levels face. Each model accurately captures some of what every judge does some of the time, but a sophisticated understanding of judicial decision making should explicitly incorporate the notion that judges simultaneously attempt to further numerous, disparate, and often conflicting, objectives. This chapter offers a preliminary account of a more psychologically plausible account of judicial cognition and motivation, based on principles of goal management in a constraint satisfaction network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Judicial Decision Making
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199776917
ISBN (Print)9780195367584
StatePublished - May 1 2010


  • Constraint satisfaction
  • Decision making
  • Goal management
  • Goals
  • Judges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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