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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 122352 Find in a Library
Title: Strategies for Judicial Research: Soaking and Poking in the Judiciary: Introduction
Journal: Judicature  Volume:73  Issue:4  Dated:(December-January 1990)  Pages:192-193
Author(s): C A Johnson
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 2
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Charles Fenno's social science research theory of "soaking and poking" or interactive observation is examined as a method for scholars who study the decisionmaking behavior of judges. Several judicial researchers report on their research methods in a symposium on judicial research.
Abstract: Most judicial decisionmaking, such as plea bargaining, jury decisionmaking, and meetings of appellate judges, takes place in private, away from the soaking and poking of social scientists. While Fenno's style of observation may not be possible when exploring how judges make decisions, it is possible for judicial researchers to place judicial activities in context and to underscore the sequence of judicial decisionmaking. These methods resemble Fenno's objectives. Judicial researchers report on their interviews with judges on decisionmaking and their analyses of judicial notes and documents. Difficulties in establishing the reliability of qualitative data are also discussed.
Main Term(s): Behavioral science research
Index Term(s): Discretionary decisions; Judicial decisions; Jurisprudence
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