For your rough draft, you will submit a complete proposal that includes all the required elements of the final proposal and incorporates any relevant instructor
feedback you received on Milestones One and Two. In your rough draft, be sure to address all the following critical elements:
- Problem Statement
- a) Describe the contemporary problem that is the focus of your proposal with full details with respect to your selected applied setting. Here,
consider how new developments or changes in your applied setting are creating new cognition-related challenges. For instance, you might note
that increased use of online education is presenting new challenges to students with ADHD.
- b) Identify your selected area of cognitive psychology (attention, learning, memory, language, or decision making) and appropriate foundational
theories that apply to your selected problem. What are the foundational aspects of these theories, and how do they relate to your selected
problem? Carrying through with the previous example, you would indicate that your area of focus is attention and identify related theories that
can shed further light on the contemporary problem of attention demands on students with ADHD.
- c) Describe performance issues in your selected applied setting based on limitations of human cognitive systems. What are some of the specific
issues related to your contemporary problem, the applied setting, and the limits of the human cognitive system? Here, you will further break
down your contemporary problem and explain how the problem relates to the applied setting, what we know about cognition, and how this
- d) Create a research question that addresses potential improvements to practices in the applied setting based on the strengths of human cognitive
systems. Remember that your research question should address your contemporary problem. For instance, in keeping with the previous
example, you might ask, “How can changes to online learning platforms better support increased attention to course materials for students with
- Contemporary Relevance
- a) Evaluate the utility of the theories you identified when describing your problem with respect to their strengths and limitations. Here, revisit the
theories you noted in critical element I, part b. How do the theories you identified further explain the problems and performance issues you
identified? What are the strengths and limitations of each theory in helping to understand your identified problem?
- b) Which particular theory offers the greatest utility for practitioners to apply in addressing real-world issues specific to the contemporary problem
you selected? Defend your selection.
III. Interpretation of Research Findings:
Explain how each primary or secondary resource you selected supports your research question. This is where you
will apply sound methodological principles (by following the prompts below, a–b) to qualify the research results and statistical findings.
- a) How do the research results and statistical findings apply to your research question and your proposed improvements?
- b) Explain the strengths and limitations of the research results and findings in supporting the research question. This is where you will explain how
the research results and findings you have reviewed support your research question and identify specific gaps in the research. In other words, in
reviewing your sources, is there sufficient support for this research question? This is also where you will identify what research does not yet exist
that is necessary in supporting the application of your research question.
- Methodological Principles:
This is where you will look at your research question (critical element I, part d) and determine what types of strategies or
techniques you would use if you were to hypothesize improving upon the problem in your selected applied setting. Here, you might propose an
experiment, a new program or initiative, or adoption of new tools/technologies. Remember, you are not limited to a controlled experiment.
- a) What socially responsible strategies and techniques could be used for improving upon human cognitive processes specific to your applied
setting? Here, consider how you could implement your proposed solution in a way that does not further aggravate the problem or put
participating parties at risk of new problems or performance issues.
- b) What are the implications for using these strategies and techniques? Consider, who and what about the applied setting would be impacted by
this proposed solution? What would change, and how might these changes be received
Please note that the grading rubric for the rough draft submission is not identical to that of the final project. The Final Project Rubric will include an additional
“Exemplary” category that provides guidance as to how you can go above and beyond “Proficient” in your final submission.
Guidelines for Submission: Your rough draft should be double spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins and APA citations. Your draft
proposal should be a minimum of six pages, not including cover page and references, and use preapproved resources. (The submission should include a variety
of research and findings from at least three of the provided publications. Review the Final Project Document to access the list of approved publications provided
Decision Making and the Law Research Proposal
Judges, jurors, and other parties in the justice system should decide based on reason and reliable evidence. They play a key decision-making role when dealing with various people, including crime suspects such as in murder. Besides collecting and analyzing adequate evidence to support their decisions, judges and other law enforcement officers should conduct intelligence analysis instead of relying on intuition and simple shortcuts (Wolfberg, 2017). Theoretically, judicial decisions should be based on adequate evidence, but, practically, cognitive bias emerges and affects their thoughts and decisions in criminal cases. Wolfberg (2017) further suggests that cognitive limitations can push judges to make decisions that are against their professional judgment. Cognitive biases (informal reasoning) and preconceived ideas about people and event play a critical role in law enforcement and judicial decisions (Michele, 2015). Uncertainty and information overload also hinder the tendency to use evidence and critical information in decision-making by judges and jurors. As a result, judges commonly make decisions that systematically deviate from legal and social norms and standards.
Biased and unjust decisions are common in law enforcement and criminal justice due to cognitive biases and limitations in information processing. Systematic racism, as an element of cognitive bias and preconceived notion about people and events, affect the law enforcement and judicial decision-making. The biases create cognition-related challenges within the system, which is expected to protect people’s rights and interests through fair and just decision-making (McManus, Maeder &Yamamoto, 2018). For example, in most judicial cases, black defendants perceive harsher judgments than those from other races. Furthermore, judges commonly hear cases that could cause cognitive biasness due to lack of adequate evidence, such as murder cases involving racial minority individuals (Peer & Gamliel, 2013). They are prone to confirmation bias, hindsight bias, and conjunction fallacy during judicial proceedings and judgment. Cognitive processing plays a role in the reconstruction of events, affecting the outcome since the outcome might differ from the reality. The current research seeks to answer the question, how doses cognitive bias and limitations in information processing affect judges’ decisions?
Cognitive bias (such as due to preconceived notions about people and events) and limitations in information processing are critical in the judicial system since they highlight areas that policy-makers should address to improve justice and fairness in law enforcement and criminal justice systems. The theories are applicable to the study since they help to understand decisions that judges and other players in the justice system make and areas of focus to address limitations and improve decision-making in the setting. Cognitive bias highlights the need to ensure that judges rely on adequate evidence instead of their intuition, while information-processing ensures that actors in the system conduct objective intelligence analysis before making decisions or judgments. However, the theories are limited to factors within the judge or juror that affects their decision-making and ignores external factors, such as institutionalized racism. Regardless of the limitations, the theories are relevant in understanding flawed judicial decision-making to influence possible solutions, such as relying on adequate evidence and information-processing (intelligence analysis).
Interpretation of Research Findings
The four selected sources provide adequate evidence to answer the research question and point to recommended solutions to the problem. Chabot (2019) suggested the role of cognitive bias in the retirement of justices. The article relates to the research question since it points to one of the critical decisions that justices make and the factors behind them (such as partisan interests). McManus, Maeder and Yamamoto (2018) used empirical evidence to suggest the role race and racially-charged media play in decisions jurors make in the criminal justice system. The article has strong evidence to support the interplay of cognitive bias (preconceived ideas about people) and judicial decision-making, thus answering the research question. Lieberman et al. (2016) provided the research bases for professional perceptions of jury decision-making. The article is part of the current literature review and counsel relating to current research on cognitive bias in judicial decision-making, hence, related to the research question. Finally, Wolfberg (2017) highlighted the role of intelligence-led policing in addressing the issue of cognitive bias in judicial decision-making. However, the studies leave a gap in understanding the actual role of cognitive biases in the decision-making to generate an effective recommendation to resolve the problem.
To answer the research question, how doses cognitive bias and limitations in information processing affect judges’ decisions?, relevant and current data is necessary. The most applicable method would be an experiment involving mock jurors to determine the potential for cognitive bias in their decision-making. The most socially responsible strategy and technique that could be used for improving upon human cognitive processes applied to criminal justice system is an experiment to determine how preconceived notions about people and events affect decision-making. The experiment could involve mock jurors working with White and Black defendants to determine what cognitive processes might affect their decisions. The outcome of the experiment using mock jurors could identify how their flawed perceptions and information processing limitation affect their decisions and inform how they can improve their decision-making by relying on adequate evidence and intelligence analysis.
Chabot, C. K. (2019). Do Justices Time Their Retirements Politically? An Empirical Analysis of the Timing and Outcomes of Supreme Court Retirements in the Modern Era.
Lieberman, J. D., Krauss, D. A., Heen, M., &Sakiyama M.(2016). The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Professional Perceptions of Jury Decision-making Research Practices. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 34.
McManus, L. Maeder, E. &Yamamoto, S. (2018). The Role of Defendant Race and Racially Charged Media in Canadian Mock Juror Decision Making. Carleton University.
Michele, C. (2015). When Judges Don’t Follow the Law: Research and Recommendations, 19
CUNY L. Rev. 57
Peer, E. and Gamliel, E.(2013). “Heuristics and Biases in Judicial Decisions. “Court Review: The Journal of the American Judges Association. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1428&context=ajacourtreview
Wolfberg, A. (2017). Dark Side of Clarity: It’s Effect on Knowledge Production and Decision-Making. Salus Journal, 5(1).