This chapter explores the psychology of causal reasoning and the implications of this psychology for tort law. The chapter surveys what is known about counterfactual thinking, a process that is at the heart of the but-for test of causation. In addition, the chapter explores the multiple challenges that decision makers face in making causal inferences in complex real-world settings. These include evaluating the contributions of multiple causal factors, evaluating causation in the context of a background risk of harm, identifying the particular source of a harm, and assessing causes that are part of broader causal chains. The chapter raises questions about the role of legal advocacy in defining competing causal accounts and the counterfactual potency of those accounts.
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.
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.