2014년 8월 14일 목요일

[발췌: Paul F. Rothstein's] The Legal Significance of the Psychological Ability to Appreciate the "Other" (2013)

출처: Paul F Rothstein (2013), The Legal Significance of the Psychological Ability to Appreciate the "Other", Civil and Legal Science, 2013. 2:1

※ 발췌 (excerpts):

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court, citing neurological and psychological studies, held that because juveniles are deficient in appreciating consequences to others, they should never be given the death penalty. I have become convinced, in my years as a legal scholar, educator, and practitioner, that "appreciating the 'other'"ㅡputting oneself in the position of othersㅡis critical to law and the study of law in more than the obvious ways.

Years ago I became aware of empirical studies and psychological experiments demonstrating that children below a certain age have trouble seeing things from another's vantage point. The facility to do so develops gradually with age, but more in some people than others.

One experiment (which I simplify here) simultaneously exposed two children (child 1 and 2) to a ball being placed in box A. of a series of boxes on a table. It was done in the sight of both children. Then, in the sight of child 1, child 2 was removed from the room. The, in the sight of sight of child 1, but not in the sight of child 2, the ball was removed from box A. and put in box B. Child 1 was asked which box child 2 would say the ball was in. Although child 1 saw that child 2 had not seen the change of the location of the ball to box B., child 1 said child 2 would know the ball was in box B (as child 1 knew). Child 1 was unable to comprehend that child 2, as a separate person from child 1, had different information than child 1. This led me to think of children I know, who think if they close their eyes, I can't see them. Those children, and child 1 in the experiment, and perhaps some adults, lack or have muted ability to "view things from another's shoes". This may be called lack of empathy, in some contexts.

As I read these and other studies, I became confirmed in my belief that the ability to appreciate the vantage point and informational position of others is central to a wide range of concepts in the law.

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