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The Uncontrollable Bias of Advocacy

December 10, 2020

Thursday, December 10 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST

Led byNina Strohminger, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics.

Although many factors could influence our personal bias, it may come as a surprise that our control over our beliefs may not be as strong as we think.  Lawyers, for instance, are taught they can retain unbiased beliefs whilst zealously advocating for their clients, and that they must do so to secure just outcomes. Across several experiments, we show that the biasing effect of advocacy is not controllable, but automatic. Merely incentivizing people to advocate altered a range of beliefs about character, guilt, and punishment. This bias appeared even in beliefs that are highly stable, when people were financially incentivized to form true beliefs, and among professional lawyers, who are trained to prevent advocacy from biasing their judgments.

Thursday, December 10, 2020
12:00 pm ET – 01:00 pm ET


  • Date: Thursday, December 10
  • Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST