Prof Cyrus Tata to Begin Comparative Study of Emotion in Decision-Making 

Professor Cyrus Tata is to collaborate in a four-country study of the role of emotion in decision-making in criminal cases. 

The five-year research study will examine the role of emotion in the construction of objectivity in four countries: Sweden, Scotland, Italy and USA.

Commenting on the research, which will begin from autumn 2018, Prof Tata said:

I’m delighted to take part in this exciting research study. It’s the first comprehensive empirical study of its kind. The role of emotion in law presents a paradox. On the one hand and in the abstract, we tend to be suspicious of emotion in decision-making, fearing that it may compromise neutrality. Yet, on the other hand, is it possible to make fully rounded decisions without feelings of, for example, empathy? Emotion may be vital to achieving substantive justice. We are interested to understand this relationship in practice.

By examining how emotions operate in decision-making, it is hoped to understand more fully how the role of emotion works together with and in the shaping of objectivity.

The five-year, four-country comparative study will be directed by Prof Stina Bergman Blix (Uppsala University, Sweden).

The Construction of Objectivity: An international perspective on the emotive-cognitive process of judicial decision-making (JUSTEMOTIONS)  is funded by The European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.  ERC Starting Grant (No 757625).