Anchoring Legal Standards

32 Pages Posted: 12 May 2016

See all articles by Yuval Feldman

Yuval Feldman

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

Amos Schurr

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Doron Teichman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2016

Abstract

This article presents the first empirical study on whether anchors influence the interpretation of vague legal standards. To test this question, the article presents a series of stylized experiments that measure and compare participantsā€™ interpretation of a vague norm after they were exposed to anchors. Overall, the results suggest that the content of substantive legal rules might be altered by anchors. This effect is documented in numerous legal settings (e.g., torts, corporate, copyright) and across both expert (i.e., experienced lawyers) and nonexpert (i.e., students) populations. Furthermore, the effect is shown to exist both when participants express judgments on a numeric scale and when they make dichotomous judgments that are detached from that scale. Based on these findings, the article revisits several longā€standing legal debates and reevaluates their conclusions.

Suggested Citation

Feldman, Yuval and Schurr, Amos and Teichman, Doron, Anchoring Legal Standards (June 2016). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 13, Issue 2, pp. 298-329, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2778852 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jels.12116

Yuval Feldman (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel

Amos Schurr

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ( email )

Beer-Sheva
Israel

Doron Teichman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel

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