Confirmatory Information Processing in Legal Decision: Effect of Intimate Conviction

  • Rafaele Dumas
  • Catherine EsnardEmail author


A large body of research has focused on legal decision-making in mixed courts of lay and professional judges. However, few studies have been conducted to test the impact on evidence processing of the intimate conviction instruction (ICI), a decision rule based on impression formation used in civil law systems. The influence of the two facets of the ICI (the decision rule and the motivation requirement) on confirmatory information processing (CIP) was studied in a harm-to-person case. Using a methodology combining the simulated juror and CIP paradigms, the decision rule (based on impression vs. rationality) and the motivation requirement (required vs. not required) were manipulated to observe their impact on assimilation and selective exposure biases. Results showed significant interactions of the two facets of the ICI but only on the assimilation bias. These results are discussed in the light of the evidence processes in the context of legal decision-making in criminal courts.


Cognitive distortions Juror decision making Mock-juries Processing strategy Social cognition 



This research was supported by a grant from La Mission de Recherche Droit et Justice (France).


This research was funded by a grant (research agreement no from La Mission de Recherche Droit et Justice (France).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The Center for Research on Cognition and Learning (CeRCA), the laboratory whose Catherine Esnard is membership, has received a grant from La Mission de Recherche Droit et Justice (France).

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychological Sciences Research InstituteCatholic University of LouvainLouvainBelgium
  2. 2.Center for Research on Cognition and Learning (CeRCA)University of PoitiersPoitiersFrance

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