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Shared Outrage and Erratic Awards: The Psychology of Punitive Damages

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  • Kahneman, Daniel
  • Schkade, David
  • Sunstein, Cass R

Abstract

An experimental study of punitive damage awards in personal injury cases was conducted, using jury-eligible respondents. There was substantial consensus on judgments of the outrageousness of a defendant's actions and of the appropriate severity of punishment. Judgments of dollar awards made by individuals and synthetic juries were much more erratic. These results are familiar characteristics of judgments made on unbounded magnitude scales. The degree of harm suffered by the plaintiff and the size of the firm had a pronounced effect on awards. Some judgmental tasks are far easier than others for juries to perform, and reform possibilities should exploit this fact. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.

Volume (Year): 16 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 49-86

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:16:y:1998:i:1:p:49-86

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100299

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Cited by:
  1. Kahneman, Daniel, 2002. "Maps of Bounded Rationality," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2002-4, Nobel Prize Committee.
  2. Huber, Michaela & Van Boven, Leaf & McGraw, A. Peter & Johnson-Graham, Laura, 2011. "Whom to help? Immediacy bias in judgments and decisions about humanitarian aid," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 283-293, July.
  3. Ryan, Anthony M. & Spash, Clive L., 2011. "Is WTP an attitudinal measure? Empirical analysis of the psychological explanation for contingent values," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 674-687.
  4. Di Tella, Rafael & Dubra, Juan, 2006. "Crime and Punishment in the "American Dream"," MPRA Paper 500, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Slovic, Paul & Finucane, Melissa L. & Peters, Ellen & MacGregor, Donald G., 2007. "The affect heuristic," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(3), pages 1333-1352, March.
  6. Slovic, Paul & Finucane, Melissa & Peters, Ellen & MacGregor, Donald G., 2002. "Rational actors or rational fools: implications of the affect heuristic for behavioral economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 329-342.
  7. Philippe P. F. M. van de Calseyde & Gideon Keren & Marcel Zeelenberg, 2013. "The insured victim effect: When and why compensating harm decreases punishment recommendations," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(2), pages 161-173, March.
  8. Debraj Ray & Kfir Eliaz & Ronny Razin, 2004. "Group Decision-Making in the Shadow of Disagreement," Working Papers 2004.83, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. David J. Cooper & James B. Rebitzer, 2002. "Managed Care, Physician Incentives, and Norms of Medical," Microeconomics 0209001, EconWPA.
  10. Ryan, Anthony M. & Spash, Clive L., 2010. "Testing Kahneman's Attitudinal WTP Hypothesis," MPRA Paper 22468, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Pradiptyo, Rimawan & Sahadewo, Gumilang Aryo, 2012. "On The Complexity of Eliminating Fuel Subsidy in Indonesia; A Behavioral Approach," MPRA Paper 40045, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Koehler, Jonathan J. & Gershoff, Andrew D., 2003. "Betrayal aversion: When agents of protection become agents of harm," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 244-261, March.
  13. Brown, Thomas C. & Nannini, Dawn & Gorter, Robert B. & Bell, Paul A. & Peterson, George L., 2002. "Judged seriousness of environmental losses: reliability and cause of loss," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 479-491, September.

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