|Property||Social Psychology||Parisi I 145
Property/Social psychology/Nadler/Mueller: Endowment effect: Owning property feels good psychologically; accordingly, owners of property are more reluctant to give up what they already have than non-owners are to try to acquire identical property (Kahneman, Knetsch, and Thaler, 1990)(1). This is known as the endowment effect (…). Property: One prominent theory about why the idea of property is sometimes perceived as sacred is that some types of property enable us to develop a sense of self (Radin, 1982)(2). According to this theory, certain objects like wedding rings, heirlooms, and houses feel like part of ourselves, and sometimes feel irreplaceable.
Homes: Homes are one example of property that can be tightly bound with personhood, and, interestingly, certain legal doctrines arguably reflect this idea.
Personhood theory of property: The castle doctrine, which derives from English common law principles that are several hundreds of years old, holds that a person who is attacked in his home need not retreat and is permitted to use deadly force if necessary to defend himself (New York v. Tomlins, 1914). Some courts have held certain conduct to be permissible in the home even though that conduct is otherwise prohibited (e.g. possession of guns, marijuana, and obscene materials) (Barros, 2006)(3).
VsPersonhood theory: As appealing as the personhood theory of property is, empirical research on it and virtually any other psychological aspect of property is sparse (Blumenthal, 2009)(4). Studies focusing on the home confirm the notion that the home is an important source of security, privacy, and freedom (Barros, 2009)(5). It might be that people are less attached to the physical structure of their home than to the personal effects in it and the social networks around it (Barros, 2009), but these ideas have not yet been empirically examined.
1. Kahneman, Daniel, Jack L. Knetsch, and Richard H. Thaler (1990). "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem." Journal of Political Economy 98(6): 1325-1348.
2. Radin, Margaret Jane (1982). "Property and Personhood." Stanford Law Review 34: 957-
3. Barros, D. Benjamin (2006). "Home as a Legal Concept". Santa Clara Law Review 46: 255- 306.
4. Blumenthal, Jeremy A. (2009). "'To Be Human': A Psychological Perspective on Property
Law." Tulane Law Review 83:609-644.
5. Barros, D. Benjamin (2009). "Property and Freedom". NYUJL & Liberty 4(36): 37-69.
Nadler, Janice and Pam A. Mueller. „Social Psychology and the Law“. In: Parisi, Francesco (ed) (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics. Vol 1: Methodology and Concepts. NY: Oxford University Press
Francesco Parisi (Ed)
The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics: Volume 1: Methodology and Concepts New York 2017