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Ideology, Psychology, and Law$
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Jon Hanson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737512.001.0001

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Associations Between Law, Competitiveness, and the Pursuit of Self-Interest

Associations Between Law, Competitiveness, and the Pursuit of Self-Interest

Chapter:
(p.193) Chapter 6 Associations Between Law, Competitiveness, and the Pursuit of Self-Interest
Source:
Ideology, Psychology, and Law
Author(s):

Mitchell J. Callan

Aaron C. Kay

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737512.003.0007

This chapter will discuss and provide evidence for the idea that the law’s existence shapes social reality by implicitly fostering the sense that people are, and perhaps should be, competitive and untrustworthy. Drawing on research from social cognition and legal studies, it will argue that people tend to associate the law with self-interestedness due to their encounter with the legal system. Through legal socialization—the acquisition of legal knowledge through direct instruction, experience and popular media—people come to mentally associate the law with competitiveness. This chapter will argue that this is precisely due to the way the legal system operates, at least in societies adopting an adversarial legal system.

Keywords:   untrustworthy, social cognition, self-interest, legal socialization, legal knowledge, competitiveness, adversarial legal system

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