THE POLICYMAKERS AND THE POLICY APPLIERS
P art Three deals with the legal decision makers who represent the organism in stimulus-response theory or the conversion structure in input-output theory. The decision makers convert the normative and factual stimuli into legal policies and adjudications, which, in turn, become stimuli to lower level administrators and policy recipients who then convert them into the ultimate policy effects. This section discusses (1) research methodologies for studying the role of decision makers, (2) methods of recruitment, (3) background and attitude characteristics, (4) accounting for decisional variation, and (5) interaction between legislators and judges.
The big problem in designing research on the role of decision makers is in devising a way to determine the extent to which various differences among the decision makers result in differences in their decisions. The difficulty arises mainly because no substantial set of judges will be hearing the same cases, and their decisions will thus lack comparability. To resolve this problem, one can try presentation of the same hypothetical cases to many judges, but such a procedure means a small sample of cases, a low response, and a lack of reality. As an alternative, one can try to find judges from different courts who have heard cases that are similar