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Egocentric Bias in Perceptions of Customary International Law

International Law As Behavior (Harlan G. Cohen & Timothy Meyer eds., Cambridge University Press), Forthcoming

Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 17-10

23 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2017 Last revised: 29 Sep 2017

Ryan Scoville

Marquette University - Law School

Date Written: August 31, 2017

Abstract

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

Scoville, Ryan, Egocentric Bias in Perceptions of Customary International Law (August 31, 2017). International Law As Behavior (Harlan G. Cohen & Timothy Meyer eds., Cambridge University Press), Forthcoming; Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 17-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3030356

Ryan Scoville (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Law School ( email )

Eckstein Hall
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
United States
720-993-0197 (Phone)

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