Why People Obey the Law

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, May 7, 2006 - Law - 299 pages
Based on a survey conducted in Chicago that sought to identify factors contributing to respect for and compliance with the law and legal authorities, Tyler challenges many of the assumptions about why people obey the law. He rejects the instrumental view that people obey the law because they fear the potential punishment or anticipate certain gains or losses. Tyler supports a normative view that people ultimately are more concerned about a legal system (laws and authorities) that is "fair" rather than one in which they have "won or lost." According to Tyler, the normative elements in the system--fairness, respect, dignity accorded by the police and courts--are more critical in obtaining legal compliance than often imagined. This realization, he argues, should force one to reevaluate how the legal goods and services of society are delivered. ISBN 0-300-04403-8: $30.00.
 

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User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

I'm not sure if this book is a rewritten doctoral thesis, but it sure seems like one. As such, its title is very misleading. A more suitable title would have been "Phone questionnaire to residents of ... Read full review

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User Review  - dono421846 - LibraryThing

Not a new edition, but does include a new afterword in which Tyler reviews the theoretical advances and new literature on the question of why people obey the law: "people's motivation to cooperate ... Read full review

Contents

Procedural Justice Legitimacy and Compliance
3
Design of the Chicago Study
8
Legitimacy and Compliance
17
Legitimacy as a Theoretical Issue
19
Measuring Legitimacy and Compliance
40
Does Legitimacy Contribute Independently to Compliance?
57
Citizens Concerns When Dealing with Legal Authorities
69
What Do People Want from Legal Authorities?
71
Beyond Control
135
Conclusions
159
The Antecedents of Compliant Behavior
161
The Psychology of Legitimacy
170
Questionnaire Used in First Wave of Chicago Study
179
Coefficient Alphas for Scales Used in the Analysis
212
Frequency Data
213
Notes
223

Measuring the Psychological Variables
85
Does Experience Influence Legitimacy?
94
The Meaning of Procedural Justice
113
The Psychology of Procedural Justice
115
The Influence of Control on the Meaning of Procedural Justice
125
References
245
Afterword
261
Index
287
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Tom R. Tyler is University Professor at New York University, teaching in the Psychology Department and the Law School. He studies the exercise of authority in groups, organizations, and societies. His many books include The Social Psychology of Procedural Justice, Social Justice in a Diverse Society, Cooperation in Groups, and Trust in the Law.

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