Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 1985, Volume 33


Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 1985, Volume 33

The Law as a Behavioral Instrument

Edited by Gary B. Melton

Nebraska Symposium on Motivation Series

291 pages


April 1986


$45.00 Add to Cart

March 1986


$25.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

The effect of the law on human behavior is contemporary society—nothing less is the concern of this important book. It is curious that scholars in psychology and law have largely neglected this topic because studies of the effects of law on behavior may have much to teach about the role of social regulation in human motivation more generally. Similarly, such studies may offer jurisprudential scholars new ways of thinking about the role of law in human experience.
Here seven leading experts on law and the social sciences discuss the contributions their research c an make to the legal system. Concerned with the relationship between the law and both individual and group behavior, they examine the law as an instrument of social stasis and social change and as an element of personal motivation. The result is a major step toward the development of a psychology of jurisprudence. The scope of this book is in the best tradition of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation and a fitting celebration of the tenth anniversary of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Law/Psychology Program, the first integrated graduate training program in psycho-legal studies. Drawing from law, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy, the contributors take a truly interdisciplinary approach to understanding the instrumentality of law.

Author Bio

Contributors to the volume include Richard J. Bonnie, professor of law and director of the institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, who appraises the use of the law to discourage unhealthy personal choices; Stanley L. Brodsky, professor of psychology at the University of Alabama, who discusses psychologists’ roles in litigation aimed at institutional change; Jack P. Gibbs, Centennial Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University, who presents a theoretical framework for research on criminal deterrence; Gary B. Melton, professor of psychology and law, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Michael J. Saks, associate professor of psychology and adjunct professor of law, Boston College, who focus on the function of law as a “moral guidepost” for a community; Stephen J. Morse, Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law and professor of psychology, psychiatry, and the behavioral sciences, University of Southern California, who discusses the relevance of psychology to the definition of legal responsibility; and Laura Nadar, professor of anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley, who examines the different ways the two sexes use and shape the law.