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Biased? Me? - The Biology and Psychology of Decision-Making and How Lawyers Can Improve Interpersonal Skills

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: January 18, 2022
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  • The biology of decision-making
  • Definitions and types of bias
  • Confirmation bias
  • The Backfire Effect
  • Information deficit and belief change
  • Recognizing manipulation techniques
  • Astroturfing
  • Strategies for dealing with others
  • Strategies for our own decisions
Runtime: 1 hour, 2 minutes
Recorded: January 18, 2022

For NY - Difficulty Level: For newly admitted and experienced attorneys (Note: Newly admitted attorneys cannot take Ethics, Skills or Diversity credits via pre-recorded online programming.)


Through the biology of decision-making, the anthropological origins of "bias" as a protective reaction to the unknown are explored in this program. Our panel of seasoned experts look at how our insular mindset continues to attempt to protect us by attacking information that seems contrary to our own beliefs. We also look at how lawyers (as humans) make decisions, easy (heuristic) v. difficult (analysis). Issueframing helps to identify the decision, but few lawyers are trained in this skill. Although our goal with any decision is to make the best one, we continue to encounter hurdles (which include psychological hurdles such as confirmation bias, epistemic closure, "the backfire effect," politization, and "unacceptable truth"). Finally, we discuss strategies to prevent bias, and strategies to depolarize third parties. It is a fascinating discussion of issues which are occurring in our nation, our (legal) profession, and our personal lives, and the tipping points to improving decision skills.

This program was recorded on January 18th, 2022.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Claude E. Ducloux

Director of Education, Ethics & State Compliance

Claude E. Ducloux is an Attorney licensed in Texas, Colorado and California who speaks regularly on Legal Ethics, Law Office Management, and Trial-Related topics. In 2011, he won the highest statewide award from the State Bar of Texas for lifetime contribution to CLE, and has been invited to speak in more than 250 programs in since Jan 1, 2009, and serving as course director of numerous institutes and advanced courses. Mr. Ducloux has a long legacy of bar service, including being President of the Austin Bar Association, and serving as Chair of almost every major Bar-related entity, as well as the Texas Bar Foundation.

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