A mind is like a parachute. If it doesn’t open, you’re f#@%*d!

If you’ve wondered why there are differing perspectives about the factual basis of litigation, find the cord to your parachute and open your mind to Harvard Law’s Project on Law and Mind Sciences and situationism.

Situationism is premised on the social scientific insight that the naïve psychology—that is, the highly simplified, affirming, and widely held model for understanding human thinking and behavior—on which our laws and institutions are based is largely wrong. Situationists (including critical realists, behavioral realists, and related neo-realists) seek first to establish a view of the human animal that is as realistic as possible before turning to legal theory or policy. To do so, situationists rely on the insights of scientific disciplines devoted to understanding how humans make sense of their world—including social psychology, social cognition, cognitive neuroscience, and related disciplines…

SLABBED reflects a situationist perspective and even touches on the subject in posts such as:

Recommended holiday (half-time) reading includes the blog post, On the Ethical Obligations of Lawyers: Are We Snakes? Are We Supposed to Be?, and the following readings from the Harvard Project Site:

  • System Justification Theory and Research: Implications for Law, Legal Advocacy, and Social Justice
  • Categorically Biased: The Influence of Knowledge Structures on Law and Legal Theory
  • The Great Attributional Divide: How Divergent Views of Human Behavior are Shaping Legal Policy

After you’ve gained a sense of the dispositive nature of current legal theory, reflect on the examples Katrina litigation provides and consider how situationist thinking would have produced a different and more accurate result if applied these cases – and, in light of the recent 5th Circuit ruling in USA v Whitfield, Teel and Minor, check out A Recipe for Bias: An Empirical Look at the Interplay between Institutional Incentives and Bounded Rationality in Prosecutorial Decision Making.

4 thoughts on “A mind is like a parachute. If it doesn’t open, you’re f#@%*d!

  1. Editilla~New Orleans Ladder

    Doucy, you are too much!
    JUMP JUMP JUMP JUMP!
    Hehehehe… Happy New Year Y’all!!!!!!!!!!!
    No Lie, Believe It, slabbed has totally made my year and pulled me through madness like, like the Artful Dodger, or like, like a tractor a love tractor yeah, wit’da fine toof comb of humor on da’tumor. Why, I was even able to survive the Saints Sucking Popish Cock in da’Sacredome on a Sunday! Like wakin’up at da’Snake Farm wit’some strange ya’know.
    You cats though, are so unique and inventive and full of balls and ova. Really.
    I am sending y’all a fun blog we found today, though it would be a surprise you haven’t run across such a thing…
    The Murphy Law Firm
    http://murphylawfirm.blogspot.com/
    That’s riiiight. These are the days of miracle and wonder….
    Yay Slabbed!
    Galette l’infamie!

    Reply
  2. sop81_1

    I was able to peek at this post as it morphed through the edit process yesterday and I liked the version that extensively quoted my post better. ;-)

    As on offline commentor remarked to us not long ago that we would eventually have to reconcile the blogging we did on the Scruggs scandal with our collective body of work. I think this post starts that process.

    As the saying from the finance boards goes “pigs love mud”. None of those Scruggs cats from up north of here are clean; not the bloggers with hidden agendas, not even Judge Lackey. And to the extent certain particpants were willing to hop in bed with State Farm to f*ck the people down here, especially couragious whistleblowers in Cori and Kerri Rigsby to generate site traffic, grind a politcial axe or even to insure that Scruggs was crushed let their dispositive natures override their sense of right and wrong. And telling me privately, yeah I think what State Farm did was wrong, well after the fact does not ameliorate the damage that was done.

    sop

    Reply
  3. nowdoucit

    Time was a consideration but I liked that version, too, Sop.

    In the Scruggs’ case, most people took the easy way out re: System Justification Theory and Research: Implications for Law, Legal Advocacy, and Social Justice.
    http://www.psych.nyu.edu/jost/Blasi%20&%20Jost%20%282006%29%20System%20justification%20theory%20and%20research.pdf

    Stereotypes often help to maintain hierarchical social arrangements. Studies show that when people perceive a threat to the legitimacy or stability of the social system to which they belong, they rely increasingly on stereotypes to bolster the status quo.

    Reply
  4. Editilla~New Orleans Ladder

    Ok, now I’ve been through this post a few times with a few beers, and must say that you’c wedded a major objectivists underpinning into capital regulation… eh?
    Ahem, lacking the almonds to hang wit’you philosophically may I approach the notion of situationism from a Taoist point of view on Situationality. The former an assessment of individuals (or corps) as they careen about each other as viewed by the (ahem) Situationor (or, aka, the Central Scrutinizer)…and the latter reflects a wider gaze upon the Situation and how it grows upon itself. Situationality describes the Dish, Situationism describes the Spore, and the Central Scrutinizer describes You the vortex, the happ’nin stance, the Central Slabberizor.
    Amidst all of this, the average crook gives not a damn gnat’s ass, yet the professional crook uses it. Your thingy is close to mine, but I do believe the Central Slabberizor effects the Situation. The Situationists does not merely observe the Situation, but also becomes a member of the Situatioality, a constant scenario of partially overlapping non-simultaneous transformative events.
    Jus’sayin… you rock’mon.

    Reply

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