Perseverance in Courtroom Decisions

  • Bernd Schünemann
  • Wolfgang Bandilla
Part of the Research in Criminology book series (RESEARCH CRIM.)


Perseverance can be assumed to often have an appreciable effect on the thought processes involved in judicial decision making. The phenomenon reflects the everyday experience that “people often do not believe evidence that opposes some theory they hold” (Nisbett & Ross, 1980, p. 169). Perseverance can be described (cf. Ross et al., 1975) as the tendency for information the decision maker initially considered crucial to a decision to retain its influence even when shown to be useless or irrelevant. Obviously, such a tendency runs counter to the basic aim in the judicial process, that of searching for truth (cf. Herrmann, 1971; note that no distinction is made here between material and formal truth). It is often assumed, nevertheless, that a judge’s or jury’s processing of the information relevant to a case is done objectively and that “extra-legal variables” play no appreciable role.


Judicial System Public Prosecutor Criminal Trial Conjunction Fallacy Trial Objective 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd Schünemann
  • Wolfgang Bandilla

There are no affiliations available

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