Intuition and Its Bias Control in the Judicial Process

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.5, 2013


Intuition and Its Bias Control in the Judicial Process



Li An


As a relatively independent cognitive processing system, intuition works with the “rational-analytic” system in processing all kinds of information. The intuitive mechanism plays its leading processing role by way of authomaticity, and provides a basis for rational analysis in cases of inadequate information and uncertain judgment. In the judicial process, intuition provides a prerequisite for legal reasoning by accessing legal provisions and drawing initial conclusions. Logical automatic intuition can also jump over the cognitive process to make a fast conclusion. Meanwhile, intuition tends to induce biases, causing a deviation of the conclusion from the reality. Therefore, intuition must be closely monitored through institutional designs such as proceedings and judicial administration. An ideal judicial notice needs at least three procedures (intuition, check and argumentation), plays three cognitive functions (conclusion discovery, prevention of biased intuition, and revision of unreasonable reasons), and fulfills three judicial tasks (providing an answer to a case, guaranteeing objectivity and demonstrating legitimacy).