Rule Orientation and Behavior: Development and Validation of a Scale Measuring Individual Acceptance of Rule Violation

55 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2016

See all articles by Adam Fine

Adam Fine

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Criminology & Criminal Justice

Benjamin van Rooij

University of California, Irvine School of Law; University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Yuval Feldman

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

Shaul Shalvi

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE)

Eline Scheper

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Margarita Leib

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Psychology

Elizabeth Cauffman

University of California, Irvine - School of Social Ecology

Date Written: September 30, 2016

Abstract

There is individual variation in the extent to which individuals believe it is acceptable to violate legal rules. However, we lack a specific measure that assesses this key internal element of legal decision-making and offending. This paper describes the development, validation, and testing of the Rule Orientation scale. At its core, the construct captures the extent to which one thinks about rules in a rigid, rule-oriented manner or in a manner that recognizes exceptions. In the first study, we develop the Rule Orientation scale, demonstrate its convergent and divergent validity with key legal and moral reasoning scales, and find that Rule Orientation relates to hypothetical offending behavior across a variety of low-level crimes. In the second study, we examine whether Rule Orientation predicts the propensity to engage in digital piracy both with and without the explicit threat of punishment. The results indicate that Rule Orientation plays a crucial role in predicting offending behavior and, importantly, does so across enforcement contexts. The findings suggest that an individual with low Rule Orientation may be able to justify offending regardless of whether a system explicitly declares an enforcement campaign, regardless of how the individual perceives the severity of the threatened sanction, and regardless of whether the individual believes social norms support law violation. In understanding ethical decision-making, criminal decision-making, and other strands of legal decision-making, identifying such individual variation is crucial.

Keywords: deterrence; compliance; enforcement; rule orientation

Suggested Citation

Fine, Adam and van Rooij, Benjamin and Feldman, Yuval and Shalvi, Shaul and Scheper, Eline and Leib, Margarita and Cauffman, Elizabeth, Rule Orientation and Behavior: Development and Validation of a Scale Measuring Individual Acceptance of Rule Violation (September 30, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2846014 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2846014

Adam Fine (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Criminology & Criminal Justice ( email )

411 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

Benjamin Van Rooij

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Yuval Feldman

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel

Shaul Shalvi

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, North Holland 1018 WB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/morallabshalvi/

Eline Scheper

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Margarita Leib

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Psychology ( email )

Beer-Sheva, 84105
Israel

Elizabeth Cauffman

University of California, Irvine - School of Social Ecology ( email )

226B Social Ecology 1
Irvine, CA 92697
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
97
Abstract Views
1,330
rank
304,137
PlumX Metrics