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On the complexity of traffic judges' decisions

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  • David Leiser
  • Dov-Ron Schatzberg

Abstract

Professional judges in traffic courts sentence many hundreds of offenders per year. Using 639 case files from archives, we compared the Matching Heuristic (MH) to compensatory, weighing algorithms (WM). We modeled and cross validated the models on different subsets of the data, and took several other methodological precautions such as allowing each model to select the optimal number of variables and ordering and weighing the variables in accordance to different logics. We did not reproduce the finding by Dhami (2003), who found the MH to be superior to a compensatory algorithm in modeling bail-granting decisions. These simulations brought out the inner logic of the two family of models, showing what combination of parameters works best. It remains remarkable that using only a fraction of the variables and combining them non-compensatorily, MH obtained nearly as good a fit as the weighing method.

Suggested Citation

  • David Leiser & Dov-Ron Schatzberg, 2008. "On the complexity of traffic judges' decisions," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3(8), pages 667-678, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:3:y:2008:i:8:p:667-678
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robin M. Hogarth & Natalia Karelaia, 2005. "Simple Models for Multiattribute Choice with Many Alternatives: When It Does and Does Not Pay to Face Trade-offs with Binary Attributes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(12), pages 1860-1872, December.
    2. Robin Hogarth & Natalia Karelaia, 2004. "Ignoring information in binary choice with continuous variables: When is less 'more'?," Economics Working Papers 742, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2004.
    3. Weenig, Mieneke W. H. & Maarleveld, Marleen, 2002. "The impact of time constraint on information search strategies in complex choice tasks," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 689-702, December.
    4. Robin Hogarth & Natalia Karelaia, 2006. "On heuristic and linear models of judgment: Mapping the demand for knowledge," Economics Working Papers 974, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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