The expanding, lop-sided universe of social influence and law research

Linda Demaine, Robert B. Cialdini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter explores “social influence and the law,” which we conceptualize as consisting of three parts: (1) social influence in the legal system, (2) the legal regulation of social influence in our everyday lives, and (3) law as an instrument of social influence. Within each part, we identify the primary topics that psychologists have studied empirically and review the existing research. The chapter thus highlights the many and varied contributions of psychologists related to social influence and the law. The chapter also reveals a marked imbalance in the social influence and law literature- the vast majority of psychological research falls within the first part, despite the fact that the second and third parts capture equally or more important topics from both legal and psychological viewpoints. We end the chapter by explaining this uneven distribution of effort and urging psychologists to take a broader approach to social influence and the law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Social Influence
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780199859870
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Empirical legal studies
  • Law and psychology
  • Legal psychology
  • Persuasion
  • Persuasion and law
  • Psychological jurisprudence
  • Social influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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