Associations Between Law, Competitiveness, and the Pursuit of Self-Interest


Book Section

© 2012 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved. This chapter will discuss and provide evidence for the idea that the law's existence shapes social reality by implicitly fostering the sense that people are, and perhaps should be, competitive and untrustworthy. Drawing on research from social cognition and legal studies, it will argue that people tend to associate the law with self-interestedness due to their encounter with the legal system. Through legal socialization-the acquisition of legal knowledge through direct instruction, experience and popular media-people come to mentally associate the law with competitiveness. This chapter will argue that this is precisely due to the way the legal system operates, at least in societies adopting an adversarial legal system.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Callan, MJ; Kay, AC

Published Date

  • May 24, 2012

Book Title

  • Ideology, Psychology, and Law

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780199737512

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737512.003.0007

Citation Source

  • Scopus