Mapping the Diversity of Thought—An Attitude Theory of Contract Law

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Abstract

A vast body of literature has been devoted to explaining the values and policies underpinning existing contract law doctrines and the principles to which regulators and courts should adhere when shaping contract law policy. However, a descriptive account of how people actually think about contract law, and the classijication of the dilemmas that divide laypersons andjurists as to how to shape contract law, have drawn mitch less attention. This Article is the.first attempt to develop an empirically-based attitude theory of contract law. The theory aims to identifv the normative conflicts that explain why people are divided on how contractual disputes should be resolved. The Article maps the ideological diversity surrounding contract law using jour key conflicts: (1) individualism versus solidarity; (2).formalism versus anti-tbrmalism; (3) egalitarianism versus nonegalitarianism: and (4) instrumental/economic versus intrinsic perspectives. By employing a series of exploratory and confirmalory studies involving over 2000 participants-MTurk workers, a representative U.S. sample, and Israeli law students-I develop a Contractual Attitude Scale. This midtidimensional scale measures contractual attitudes toward the.first thiee of the four aforementioned conflicts. Attitudes concerning these conflicts were generally jbund to be discrete, consistent, and varied across participants. In contrast, attitudes toward Instnimentalism were not consistent in participants' responses. Importantly, this scale captures attitudinal variance that cannot be accounted for through selj-reported political worldviews. Analyzing participants' characteristics demonstrated, in part, that Israeli law students are less.formalistic and less egalitarian than members Of the U. S. sample, and that people with academic backgrounds tend to be more individualistic than those without. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)49-89
Number of pages41
JournalSouthern California interdisciplinary law journal
Volume31
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Accession Number: 155322267; ORI KATZ 1; Affiliation: 1: Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Hebrew University 01-Jerusalem.; Source Info: Fall2021, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p49; Subject Term: CONTRACTS; Subject Term: LAYPERSONS; Subject Term: EQUALITY; Subject Term: CONTRACTARIANISM (Ethics); Subject Term: INDIVIDUALISM; Number of Pages: 41p; Document Type: Article

Keywords

  • CONTRACTS
  • LAYPERSONS
  • EQUALITY
  • CONTRACTARIANISM (Ethics)
  • INDIVIDUALISM

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