chapter  10
16 Pages

An Uneasy Partnership: Law and the Behavioral Sciences

WithStanton Wheeler

A most important social sign of health is evident at annual meetings. Once held in conjunction with this or that other disciplinary association, the association began with biannual meetings and quickly moved to annual meetings. The study of law as embedded in particular legal settings is important, to be sure, but the effort runs into its own set of difficulties. Common law sentencers see themselves as more interpretive and their guidelines counterparts as more mechanical. But guidelines sentencers view themselves as more systematic, their common law counterparts as more intuitive and open to bias. Participation in the behavioral science of law has been greatest by those in sociology, political science, and anthropology and less by psychologists. Programs based on a behavioral science technology and a guidelines rationale are likely to prevail in the situation of mass-processing so often faced by the legal system.