Tort Law Decision-Making: Psychological and Legal Perspectives
Monica K Miller, Logan A. Yelderman, Jason A. Cantone, & Matthew Huss (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of psychology and legal decision-making. Cambridge University Press.
30 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2023 Last revised: 19 Jun 2023
Date Written: June 10, 2023
This chapter takes a psychological perspective on tort law decision-making, drawing on psychological theory, empirical research, and legal practices in tort litigation to assess the state of knowledge about decision-making in tort cases. It examines how plaintiffs decide to bring a lawsuit, how defendants respond, and the process of dispute resolution in tort cases. Most tort cases do not go to trial, but trial decisions remain significant as a framework for negotiations. The chapter also draws on psychological theory and research to describe how the judge and the jury as decision makers resolve legal issues and reach liability verdicts and damage awards in tort cases. Psychological heuristics, biases, and other psychological phenomena affect decision-making in intentional tort, negligence, and strict liability cases, and judgments about liability and damages. The chapter closes with suggestions for further investigations of understudied topics in tort law decision-making.
Keywords: damage awards, dispute resolution, foreseeability, intentionality, judge, jury, liability, negligence, reasonableness, strict liability
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