IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Surprising Psychology And The New Unconscious: Challenges For The Law


  • Maya Bar-Hillel


Recent research in psychology, especially that called "The New Unconscious", is discovering strange and unintuitive phenomena, some of which raise interesting challenges for the law. This paper discusses some of these challenges. For example, if much of our mental life occurs out of our awareness and control, and yet is subject to easy external manipulation, what implications does this have for holding defendants responsible for their deeds? For that matter, what implications does this have for trusting judges to judge and act as they should, and would, if their own mental processes were fully conscious and controlled? Some provocative ideas are suggested, such as how to make prison terms shorter and more deterring at the same time; assisting judges in overcoming inconsistency and biases; etc.

Suggested Citation

  • Maya Bar-Hillel, 2011. "Surprising Psychology And The New Unconscious: Challenges For The Law," Discussion Paper Series dp570, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp570

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sergiu Hart, 2004. "A comparison of non-transferable utility values," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 56(2_2), pages 35-46, February.
    2. Sergiu Hart & Andreu Mas-Colell, 2010. "Bargaining and Cooperation in Strategic Form Games," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 7-33, March.
    3. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
    4. Sergiu Hart, 2013. "Adaptive Heuristics," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Simple Adaptive Strategies From Regret-Matching to Uncoupled Dynamics, chapter 11, pages 253-287 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Dhillon, Amrita & Mertens, Jean Francois, 1996. "Perfect Correlated Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 279-302, February.
    6. Hart, Sergiu & Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1996. "Bargaining and Value," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 357-380, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp570. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael Simkin). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.