Judges' Rulings Affected by Hunger and Fatigue
Posted on May 12, 2011
A research team at New York's Columbia Business School studied the results of over 1,000 parole hearings for Israeli prisoners. The hearings took place over a ten-month period, and were presided over by eight different judges.
They found that the judges granted parole much more often for inmates whose cases were heard shortly after a meal break, and were denied much more frequently for those heard just before a break, leading them to conclude that hunger and fatigue play a part in the decision-making.
They also suspect that it isn't limited just to the legal field, and that doctors and other decision-makers may also choose an easy decision when they are tired or hungry.
The article in Scientific America inlcludes more details of the study.