Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Psychology of Tort Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022



(p.39) 3 Negligence
The Psychology of Tort Law

Jennifer K. Robbennolt

Valerie P. Hans

NYU Press

This chapter explores the “reasonable person” who sits at the heart of tort law and negligence. Psychology has important implications for understanding this central figure. Psychological research informs our understanding of how individuals behave in situations that generate tort liability and how the reasonableness of an actor’s behavior is assessed after the fact. The chapter explores the difficulties that decision makers have with risk assessment and risk-utility balancing, including complications caused by automaticity and limits on attention. It describes how hindsight bias and the complexities of metacognition complicate judging reasonableness after the fact. It explores the ways in which psychology can influence how tort doctrines such as custom and res ipsa loquitur are applied. And it considers how fact finders assess the reasonableness of individuals and corporate actors.

Keywords:   attention, automaticity, custom, hindsight bias, metacognition, negligence, reasonable person, reasonableness, risk assessment, risk-utility balancing

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.