Theory testing, theory development, and laboratory research on legal issues
We have outlined here a proposed approach to research on legal issues involving theory testing via laboratory research, then theory development to account for the failure of predictions, then new research to test the new or revised theory. It is our belief that such an approach would supply much that is lacking in the "raw empiricist" research style that is too often seen in legal studies. By supplying more accurate, well-tested theories of legal behavior, this approach can contribute to the engineering of more effective, more efficient, and fairer legal procedures. In closing, we would emphasize again that we are not calling for an end to nonlaboratory, in situ evaluation studies or to close simulations of legal settings and populations. Indeed, we view these methods as essential to relate specific innovations to theoretically generated criteria. We believe, however, that theory testing in the laboratory is also essential to scientifically assisted legal progress and innovation. © 1980 Plenum Publishing Corporation.
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