Freedom versus Control: Comment on 'Behavioral Decision Research, Legislation, and Society: Three Cases' by Max H. Bazerman
11 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 24, 2013
Of course I agree with Prof. Bazerman. I agree that the field of behavioral decision research is neglected. It is my field too, and a basic finding of psychology is that people feel that their own ideas are given insufficient attention. I also agree with all the findings that are cited, and their application to the cases under discussion.
I could stop here, but to make this comment a bit longer, I would like to discuss an issue that runs through Bazerman's article. In all of the cases, he stands on the side of regulation or law, and against the side of freedom. The term freedom isn't quite what I mean, because we are talking about the freedom to kill people with cigarettes or defraud them out of their savings. Maybe anarchy would be a better term, but the line between anarchy and liberty is not a sharp one, and I want to call attention to a real problem.
I would like to discuss some findings from our field that might weigh in against regulation. These include the undermining or crowding out of trustworthiness, a kind of isolation that is similar to what Bazerman discusses, an isolation that leads to a sort of local repair heuristic that is at this point largely speculative, and the danger of imposition of moralistic values.
This paper is a comment on Behavioral Decision Research, Legislation, and Society: Three Cases by Max H. Bazerman which can be found at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2206416.
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