Free «Attitudinal Model and Its Application in Justice System Operations» Essay Sample


The process of judicial system application revolves around the different identifiable elements of important considerations practically included in law enforcement approaches. Likely, it could be seen that there are different measures of identification as to how judicial systems intend to be guided as several cases are presented to them for solution. Practically, it could be seen that somehow, through the years, understanding how justices decide upon the judgment that they are to release for the sake of the defendants and the victims of the situation who were presented to the court. Apparently, as humans, justices are not only governed by the rules and the indicative approaches imposed through law as they handle the cases that are presented to them. Instead, being human gives them a chance to think through the situation and the law in a much comprehensive manner. This means that the balancing of matters sometimes occur especially when cases that needs attention are most often than not calling for a rather radical judgment that may not be under the specifications of the written law.

When situations like this arise, the justices are faced with certain challenges of seeing through the most important considerations that they ought to find solutions to. Practically, it could be observed that it is during this particular situation that justices are assessed to be involved in certain decision making dilemmas that may or may not involve their personal belief over the cases that they are handling. One of the most efficient and well established models regarding this is that of the attitudinal model which is considered as the psychological side of the judgment that justices use. Involving their personal attitude and their personal belief, it could be noticed that this particular model of judgment may not be considered as established as that of the judgments based on legalities and justice system protocols. However, may it be considered based on personal knowledge and opinion, the attitudinal model naturally provides a good presentation on how humans respond to matters that directly concern their ability to respond to the call of the conscience and the call of the law. Sometimes considered as two contradicting matters of justice, the attitudinal model and the legal modality of justice judgment are both used in a balanced procedure so as to ensure that the judgment released is based both on the legalities of the law in accordance with the suggestive pursuance of human instinct on justice.

In the following discussion, a focus on how the attitudinal model of judgment supports that picture of presenting a real dependable justice system among those who are aiming to implement the law for the sake of solving a particular case that concerns the different aspects of human relations. Through identifying the importance of applying the attitudinal model in the system, this discussion shall intend to create a more definitive stand in presenting the adjacent capability of this model to present more established and well developed argument on the balance of judgment released by the justices in courts.

It is also prepared by the researcher that in this discussion, a presentation on the separation of the attitudinal model against that of the Neo-institutional approach that are considered to be contradicting in thought especially when they are being used as basis of the decisions made in court.


What is the Attitudinal Model all about?


For many years, the law and its enforcement is graded or governed by the use of protocol commands. The law is a set of rules that only provides black or white choices for the justices who are sitting in the position of deciding on whether or not a person is to be sentenced for punishment or would he be simply let go. Reasoning was not so much of an issue as everything has been laid down. However, as the human generation begins to learn about the differences of human circumstances through the years and generations that has already passed, the development of the procedures of implicating the rules of law towards the society gradually changed.

Undeniably, it could be noticed that one of the most important features of law implication that has been pursued was that of the application of psychological understanding corroborated with the implicative stand of the law in guarding the society from lawlessness. Basically, this particular advancement has lead to the development of the attitudinal model; a psychologically based understanding on how justices deal with the need of solving the cases that are presented to them in court. Considering the fact that they are human, there are of course other elements that matter besides that of the protocols that they ought to follow, the logical understanding that they ought to apply in investigating the reasons behind the case, and the legal sanctions that need consideration when dealing with situations that involve the offenders and the victims that they have been involved with.

It was during the 1960's that the development of behavioral politics involved in the enforcement of the law that the application of the attitudinal model has been first introduced to the society. It is under this particular faction of the law that the facts with regards a legal case acts as  cues that practically motivates the judge to resolve issues in a way that would best fit the situation through the use of his legal knowledge and the balance that he implies through the use of human instinct. Basing from the study of psychology, the capability of an ordinary person to decide is affected by the way he feels, by the way he intends to follow a certain pattern of actions and defines it with what he is or the personality that he has. This is the same case that judges have to deal with especially that they are expected to decide on serious matters that may even mean life or death. For this reason, it is just safe to say that it is indeed essential that the contemplation over the most important matter that takes effect during the phase of decision making in courts is just right to see if whether or not the decisions released are practically reliable or not. Through seeing what particular elements contribute to the finalized results of the judgment, the application of the attitudinal model shall be better tested.

The case test that Spaeth and Segal (2002) used to prove the fact that human elements such as that of attitude, behavior and personal understanding affects the judgments released by justices in court, the said researchers tried to run several cases and tested the different procedures of responding that the justices used to get to the bottom of the situation and finally release the judgment for the cases that they are handling.

The Backgrounds of Attitudinal Model

Psychologists and behavioralists believe that humans are dictated by their personality and their attitude towards several matters that concerns their capability of thinking.

Their experiences in life, their wants and their understanding of several matters that are considered important for their profession are the ones that practically affect their decisions upon important situations that are presented to them every day. The justices are of course included within this particular circle of behavioral weaknesses. Being humans as they are, they too are considered to have the dilemma of dealing with their own weaknesses and behavioral preferences as they face the challenges of dealing with the most important decisions in their profession that could affect the lives of the people involved within the case. To be able to eliminate this dilemma, studying the reasons why justices handled the cases the way that they do, the proposition of using the attitudinal model is pursued by court behavioralists. According to them, the dilemma of the justices as they handle the most important decisions in their profession could be affected by their behavior through imposing the following idealisms:


(a)   Political science can be a science that is able to predict and explain the reasons behind the decisions released in connection with the cases that are presented to the justices in which their decisional input is required.

(b)   The field of political science should be concerned in itself and the phenomena that binds it. Through this, it could be expected that proper observation of the elements concerning political science and the ways by which it is used in the supreme justice shall be better understood and better considered.

(c)    It is essential that there are data and information that are needed to be given particular attention to so as to assume that the given ore released decisions with regards certain cases are dependable and free from the fraudulent effects of the justice's attitude towards the situation.

(d)   The recognition of the theory based understanding and the theory's application should be implied as part of the investigations as to whether or not several justices naturally gave the decisions based on protocols or their personal attitude towards the case that they are handling.

Certainly, the attitudinal model is a descriptive way of providing the most considerable basis that the modern systems of court rulings revolve in. The recognition of the fact that justices themselves are human provides a clarified mirror as to what or why there are certain case decisions that are appealed upon. Understanding how important it is to consider the appeals forwarded shall be estimated through the effective use of the attitudinal model. Basically, this procedure of handling the case requires that the people to be involved have the practical knowledge as to what or why the attitudinal model is efficient enough in handling the issue concerned. One of the most important understanding that need to be gathered is that of the idea defining the different facets of modern judicial rulings and how they are affected by the elements of human behavioralism. These elements are noted as follows:

(a)   Personal Goals: According to Rohde and Spaeth (2002), personal goals are the main elements of motivation that humans depend upon are the possibility of having their goals completed and their real reasons for being able to accomplish certain achievements. On the side of the justices, there is something that is called "policy goal" whereas the justices are pushed to act accordingly in connection with certain cases through the utilization of the standard policies that the court intends to pursue. Likely though, this fact is affected by the personal perception of the justices with regards the application of the said policy goals.

(b)   Rules: How does a justice understand the importance of applying protocols or rules that are insisted on them? This is an important question that defines the capability of a justice to provide the most viable decision that he or she needs to make to settle the cases left under his or her care. In the United States though, justices are able to be given the chance to decide on matters through the utilization of their personal policy preferences meaning there are not specific sanctions concerned when it comes to the rules used to impose an established process of decision making. The justices are in short left in control of the situation through the utilization of their personal understanding of the rules and the policies involved in the case.

(c)    Ambition: being human, each individual usually desires something higher than what he already has. In this regard, it could be sensed that somehow, fir justices aiming to be in a higher position may be compromised to decide on a case based on the impact that it has on their personal achievement and not based on the effect that the decision may have on the individuals actually involved in the situation.

(d)   Personal Beliefs: of course, in the field of law enforcement, each individual concerned has his or her own belief in connection with a certain case. It is because of this belief that the judgment of a justice may be put into a certain stiff situation. For example, a man is proven guilty by the court from raping a woman based on the evidences shown, yet the judge thinks otherwise. Apparently, maybe a past experience or a firsthand understanding makes him believe that the case against the defendant is strong. How then should he release the verdict? Shall he simply rely on the evidences which are court protocol or shall he contend on what he actually believes in?

(e)    Political Influences: usually, justices have colleagues and other particular acquaintances that they may somewhat be involved with. It could be observed that somehow, being less able to commit to these colleagues or to other people who are connected to a case being litigated provides the justices a safe stand. However, if they are indeed connected to these individuals, then there is a possibility that their judgment would be affected by the connection that they have with these people.

(f)     Electoral Accountability: What does the populace suggest? Sometimes, there are cases that involve the society. It is because of these particular situations that the judges are pushed to consider the people and their opinion with regards a controversial matter that may involve their capability to balance the situations as a part of social integrity. This is when the collaboration of personal understanding of the law and the instinct of what is right from what is wrong comes in.

All these definitive elements that are compiled together to define the depth and the implications of the attitudinal model and its application in courts practically provides a clear vision on how the modern systems of justice is handled effectively today. Based on the balancing of the different elements that are considered essential for the establishment of an efficient process for proper decision making, the attitudinal model is considered one of the most effective approaches that could examine the applicability and the integrity of a particular court's decision upon a defendant's case.




Human beings are rational living entities employing their cognitive judgment and logical reasoning to evaluate the conditions and circumstance they are dealt with. Acknowledging such nature, it is often perceivable that a person would or decide based on a set of rules as determined by logical and plausible factual background. This is the notion existing overtly in the rule of law wherein court decisions and ruling are ideally perceived to go in relation to the implementation of the constitution in effect of the probable cause and factual elements. However, it is likewise a known issue in the legal structure that most actual cases do not often coincide with the ideal results as determined by a strict legal sounding because of factors that are beyond the grounds of logical interpolation. In some of these issues, the attitudinal theory inside the court system is primary culprit of such deviation from the normative legal theory in relation to the results.

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Viewing the long annals of court cases and rulings, it is an evidential fact that the attitude and personal perception of the judge plays a significant effect on the decision and outcome of the cases. The conviction of the chairman involved whether in agreement or not with the reasoning circulating in the case will essential affect the ruling of favor determining largely how things would end up in a court battle. This on the other hand, is perceived by many citing likewise the notion in the attitudinal theory to be a classic example of bias reaction over the system of court judgment.

 However one may look into this issue, it is undeniable that court judges are still human beings subjected to their personal perception and attitudes regarding their logical judgment and decisions. Placed in a court as the epitome of ruling committee fortified by intellectual knowledge, experience, and even training in the court system and constitutional application, these judges are expected to apply the legal theory in regards to the ruling of cases. Yet, as determined by the attitudinal theory, their personal views are still a significant factor affecting how they are going to apply the legal foundation in the cases. There are indeed some cases wherein the assertion of personal perception superimposed the politics and the application of preexisting legal rules to the fact essential realigning the decision-making process of the court. This in general creates a contemporary legal structure in the court system wherein facts and views collide yet with the latter often gaining more significance than the other. As viewed in the attitudinal model, the aim of modern legal institutionalism aims to address such issue attempting to resist on the bias possibilities resulting from the collision between the personal views of judges in relation to the ruling of their cases. 


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