Egocentric Bias in Perceptions of Customary International Law
International Law As Behavior (Harlan G. Cohen & Timothy Meyer eds., Cambridge University Press, 2021)
24 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2017 Last revised: 23 Mar 2021
Date Written: August 31, 2017
A substantial body of research in social psychology suggests that egocentric biases inhibit our ability to discern norms. This chapter identifies and explains two of those biases - the False Consensus Effect and the False Uniqueness Effect - and then explores their relevance and implications for efforts to identify customary international law (CIL). Among other things, the analysis offers insights on the persistent objector rule, the origins and evolution of CIL, and the merits of rational choice models.
Keywords: Customary International Law, Norms, Public International Law, Social Psychology, False Consensus Effect, False Uniqueness Effect, Persistent Objector Rule
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation