Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. Allan Lind, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514.
The Exercise of Information Influence in Legal Advocacy1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 127–143, June 1975
How to Cite
Lind, E. A. (1975), The Exercise of Information Influence in Legal Advocacy. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 5: 127–143. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1975.tb01302.x
The experiment was supported by NSF Grant GS-28590X (Laurens Walker and John Thibaut, Principal Investigators) and was conducted while A. Lind held an NDEA Title IV fellowship. Gratitude is expressed to John Thibaut, Laurens Walker, Susan Arnold, and Bonnie Erickson for their helpful comments on the study and the preparation of the manuscript.
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
The information search and transmission behavior of information-supplying agents was studied using an experimental analog of a legal situation. An experiment was conducted to test the predictions of social psychological theories concerning the use of information influence and to test several assumptions of proponents of the American adversary system in law. In a 2 × 2 × 3 factorial design, first-year law students acted as attorneys under conditions of high correspondence of outcomes with the judge versus high correspondence of outcomes with an involved party; perception that the outcomes of another attorney in the situation were correspondent with the judge versus correspondent with an involved party; and the discovery that the information environment was favorable, ambiguous, or unfavorable. Significantly greater information search was observed for party-oriented subjects relative to judge-oriented subjects only when the information environment was unfavorable. Party-oriented subjects showed greater attempted use of information influence than did judge-oriented subjects. Analyses of the amount and distribution of the information transmitted by pairs of subjects assessed the characteristics of several legal “systems”. The theoretical and applied implications of the study were discussed.