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Vanderbilt University Law School

Series

Emotions

1999

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Better Settle Than Sorry: The Regret Aversion Theory Of Litigation Behavior, Chris Guthrie Jan 1999

Better Settle Than Sorry: The Regret Aversion Theory Of Litigation Behavior, Chris Guthrie

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Legal scholars have developed two dominant theories of litigation behavior: the Economic Theory of Suit and Settlement,which is based on expected utility theory, and the Framing Theory of Litigation, which is based on prospect theory. While Professor Guthrie acknowledges the explanatory power of these theories, he argues that they are flawed because they portray litigants solely as calculating creatures. These theories disregard any role emotion might play in litigation decision making. Guthrie proposes a mplementary theory-the Regret Aversion Theory of Litigation Behavior-that views litigants as both calculating and emotional creatures. With roots in economics, cognitive psychology, and social psychology ...