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

Mitchell J. Callan, Aaron C. Kay

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

3 Citations (SciVal)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdeology, Psychology, and Law
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199918638
ISBN (Print)9780199737512
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2012


  • Adversarial legal system
  • Competitiveness
  • Legal knowledge
  • Legal socialization
  • Self-interest
  • Social cognition
  • Untrustworthy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations Between Law, Competitiveness, and the Pursuit of Self-Interest'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this