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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1404020
 
 

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Embodied Rationality


Barbara A. Spellman


University of Virginia School of Law

Simone Schnall


University of Cambridge

October 2009

Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2009-17

Abstract:     
In the last decade, many cognitive and social psychology researchers have been inspired by the notion of "embodied cognition" – that cognition is grounded in actual bodily states, and that cognition takes place in the service of action. Consider two examples: (1) when wearing a backpack people perceive hills to be steeper than when not wearing one; (2) when holding a cup containing a hot drink people rate another person as more warm and friendly than when holding a cup containing a cold drink.

Findings such as these suggest that behavioral law and economics's emphasis on "irrationality" in decision making could benefit by considering work in embodied cognition. Accordingly, this paper exploits recent research and theory on embodied cognition to find lessons for behavioral law and economics and theories of rationality.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: rationality, decision making, embodied cognition, behavioral law and economics

JEL Classification: D8

working papers series


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Date posted: May 14, 2009 ; Last revised: March 28, 2010

Suggested Citation

Spellman, Barbara A. and Schnall, Simone, Embodied Rationality (October 2009). Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2009-17. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1404020 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1404020

Contact Information

Barbara A. Spellman (Contact Author)
University of Virginia School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Simone Schnall
University of Cambridge ( email )
King's Parade
Cambridge, CB3 0DS
United Kingdom
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