ISS Faculty Fellow
Judgment, Decision Making, and Social Behavior Team
Valeria Hans is Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School, where she teaches courses on social science and law, empirical legal studies, torts, and jury systems. She has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Toronto, where she was introduced to the field of psychology and law. Author or editor of six books and more than one hundred scholarly articles, she conducts empirical studies of legal decision making, with a particular focus on jury decision making. Her books on the jury include American Juries: The Verdict (2007, with Neil Vidmar); The Jury System: Contemporary Scholarship (2006); Business on Trial: The Civil Jury and Corporate Responsibility (2000); and Judging the Jury (1986, also coauthored with Neil Vidmar). She is on the Board of Trustees of the Law & Society Association and on the Board of Directors of the Society for Empirical Legal Studies.
The theme project on Judgment, Decision Making, and Social Behavior, with its emphasis on integrating psychology, behavioral decision research, and behavioral economics, offers a terrific opportunity to discuss the most recent scholarship in these areas and apply new insights from this work to civil jury decision making about damage awards. Although the public regards the jury as an institution very positively overall, many Americans perceive jury damage awards to be unpredictable, overly generous, and influenced by biases and prejudices. Legislatures, courts, and policy makers have introduced new approaches to dealing with damage awards, but often without a clear understanding of how juries decide them. During the theme project, she hopes to develop a comprehensive model of civil jury decision making about damage awards, and to explore the impact of reforms.
Visit Valerie Hans’s Cornell Law School home page, with links to her CV and e-archives.
Her SSRN Author page has links to the full text versions of selected articles.
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