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Series

Contracts

Psychology

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Common Sense Of Contract Formation, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David A. Hoffman Jan 2015

The Common Sense Of Contract Formation, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David A. Hoffman

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What parties know and think they know about contract law affects their obligations under the law and their intuitive obligations toward one another. Drawing on a series of new experimental questionnaire studies, this Article makes two contributions.First, it lays out what information and beliefs ordinary individuals have about how to form contracts with one another. We find that the colloquial understanding of contract law is almost entirely focused on formalization rather than actual assent, though the modern doctrine of contract formation takes the opposite stance. The second Part of the Article tries to get at whether this misunderstanding matters. Is …


Demand For Breach, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan Apr 2014

Demand For Breach, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

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These studies elicit behavioral evidence for how people weigh monetary and non-monetary incentives in efficient breach. Study 1 is an experimental game designed to capture the salient features of the efficient breach decision. Subjects in a behavioral lab were offered different amounts of money to break the deal they had made with a partner. 18.6% of participants indicated willingness to break a deal for any amount of profit, 27.9% were unwilling to breach for the highest payout, and the remaining subjects identified a break-point in between. Study 2 is an online questionnaire asking subjects to take the perspectives of buyers …


The Psychology Of Contract Precautions, David A. Hoffman, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan Jan 2013

The Psychology Of Contract Precautions, David A. Hoffman, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

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This research tests the intuition that parties to a contract approach each other differently before the contract is formed than they do once it is finalized. We argue that one of the most important determinants of self-protective behavior is whether the promisee considers herself to be in negotiations or already in an ongoing contract relationship. That shift affects precaution-taking even when it has no practical bearing on the costs and benefits of self-protection: the moment of contracting is a reference point that frames the costs and benefits of taking precautions. We present the results of three questionnaire studies in which …


Transferring Trust: Reciprocity Norms And Assignment Of Contract, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan Jan 2012

Transferring Trust: Reciprocity Norms And Assignment Of Contract, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

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This paper presents four experiments testing the prediction that assignment of contract rights erodes the moral obligation to perform. The first three studies used an experimental laboratory game designed to model contractual exchange. Players in the games were less selfish with a previously-generous partner than with third-party player who had purchased the right to the original partner’s expected return. The fourth study used a web-based questionnaire, and found that subjects reported that they would require less financial incentive to breach an assigned contract than a contract held by the original promisee. The results of these four experiments provide support for …