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Emotivism and the Supreme Court

An empirical analysis of emotional language in legal briefs before the Supreme Court:  Supreme Court opinions employ controversial emotional language aimed to tug at the heart strings and to provoke ire, yet the Justices counsel lawyers to avoid such emotional language.  “Our model predicts a 0.61 probability that the petitioner wins a Justice’s vote when supported by a brief with a low level of emotional content.”  Students can use the research as a practical case study on emotivism, argumentation, the judicial system, and our current culture.

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