A Look at the Verbal Behavior of Municipal Court Judges: Causal Attribution and Judicial Discretion*: Causal Attribution and Judicial Discretion

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Abstract

An important need of the criminal justice system is to better understand and structure discretionary decisions, thereby minimizing their adverse effects. The present study explored the relevance of models of attribution processes to these goals by analysing judges’ verbal statements in real courtroom settings. Results reveal that these models are useful in studying discretion and that the method is a fruitful component of a multimethodological approach to studying both attribution and discretion. The importance of both developing and testing models in real life contexts was stressed.

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