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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75219 Find in a Library
Title: Use/Nonuse/Misuse of Applied Social Research in the Courts
Editor(s): M J Saks; C H Baron
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 196
Sponsoring Agency: Abt Books
Cambridge, MA 02138
Sale Source: Abt Books
Marketing Director
55 Wheeler Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This volume presents a dialogue between the applied social research community and the legal/judicial community in an effort to aid each discipline in correctly interpreting social research findings of use in legal cases.
Abstract: There is a cultural gap between the law and social science which results primarily from the different purposes of the two disciplines. Whenever social scientists, lawyers, and judges meet, they are interested in the same topics, but their pursuit of these topics differs. Social scientists search for observable trends reflected in broad statistical analyses; they have difficulty dealing with maverick occurrences. Lawyers and judges, on the other hand, are primarily concerned with the single incident or individual cases which may be the exception rather than the rule. This volume investigates the problems inherent in these two different approaches. A history of applied social research in the courts is given, along with examples of its misuse and case histories. Case histories touch on quantitative measures for judging the comparative excessiveness of death sentences and market research data in deceptive advertising cases. The issue of a science court is discussed, as are the uses of applied social research as evidence and the problems of translating concepts and terms from one discipline to the other. Suggestions are made for overcoming barriers to the use of applied social research in the courts. Contributors to the volume include judges, lawyers, and law professors, as well as economists, political scientists, philosophers, sociologists, mathematicians, and a physicist. Chapter references, a few tables, and an index are provided.
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Capital punishment; Court reform; Cross-examination; Deceptive advertising; Expert witnesses; Research and development; Research methods; Rules of evidence; Science and Technology; Testimony
Note: Proceedings of a conference sponsored by the Council for Applied Social Research, October 1978, Washington, DC.
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