The Exercise of Information Influence in Legal Advocacy


Journal Article

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. Copyright © 1975, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lind, EA

Published Date

  • January 1, 1975

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 127 - 143

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1559-1816

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9029

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1975.tb01302.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus