The act of passing judgment in the halls of justice has always been considered an exercise in absolute rationality, allowing no role for emotions, intuitive procedures, nor prejudice. Yet cognitive sciences and neuroscience have shown that emotions are inevitable and decisive components of decision-making, and they can even significantly affect experts such as practitioners of justice. This book emphasises the fact that judges – like all humans – is subject to systematic reasoning errors, cognitive traps, and distortions caused by intuition and unwarranted confidence in one’s knowledge and abilities. The cognitive and emotional pitfalls faced by people who express judgments are spread out throughout the legal process, from the gathering of evidence up to the final verdict.
Antonio Forza, a high court lawyer and a scholar of psychological processes in criminal proceedings, teaches in the master’s programme in Legal Psychopathology and Neuropsychology at the University of Padua.
Giulia Menegon, a lawyer with a doctorate in Legal Psychopathology and Neuropsychology earned at the University of Padua, works in Zurich.
Rino Rumiati teaches Judgment and Decision Psychology at the University of Padua and the Guido Carli Free International University for Social Studies (LUISS) in Rome.