Friday, December 12, 2003

Evidence and Holism: Judgments about Wholes and Parts in Evidence Assessment

There is an important new article about the assessment of evidence in litigation: Dan Simon, Chadwick Snow & Stephen Read, "The Redux of Cognitive Consistency Theories: Evidence Judgments by Constraint Satisfaction." The authors' abstract states that "making decisions from multiple pieces of evidence is ... is bi-directional - decisions follow from the evidence, but evaluations of the evidence shift towards coherence with the emerging decision." The paper is not pure speculation: the authors report results from five empirical studies that test and substantiate their hypothesis.

I assume that the authors would honor requests for reprints. Write,, or