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The Psychology of Tort Law$
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Jennifer K. Robbennolt and Valerie P. Hans

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724941

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724941.001.0001

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Intentional Torts

Intentional Torts

(p.25) 2 Intentional Torts
The Psychology of Tort Law

Jennifer K. Robbennolt

Valerie P. Hans

NYU Press

This chapter describes the psychology of intentionality and the implications of this research for tort law. Psychologists have examined the intentionality bias, a psychological tendency to attribute intent to actors. The chapter reveals the interplay between judgments of intentionality and harm, and how perceptions of intentionality are linked to judgments of responsibility. This psychology helps to explain why the intentional torts remain a robust and essential part of the framework of the tort system. In addition, the determination of whether an action is intentional is a key part of fact finders’ assessment of tort liability.

Keywords:   intentionality, intentionality and harm, intentionality bias, intentional torts, judgments of responsibility

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