The Good Fight: The Egocentric Bias, the Aversion to Cognitive Dissonance, and the American Criminal Law

Daniel S. Medwed

Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 135-145, 2013


The phrase "cognitive bias" often has negative connotations. It is something to be overcome, thwarted, or, at best, circumvented. In this essay, I suggest that two interrelated cognitive biases­the egocentric bias and the aversion to cognitive dissonance­might instead serve as potential assets for a criminal law practitioner in persuading her constituencies.