The Psychology of Rights and Duties: Empirical Contributions and Normative Commentaries

Pages: 299
Item #: 4316044
ISBN: 978-1-59147-166-0
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2005
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


This cross-disciplinary book investigates how morality translates into action by presenting original psychological research on our understanding of rights and duties. This topical focus is especially timely in our post 9/11 world where the relative rights and duties of citizens and our government are foremost in our minds.

One of the book's goals is to explore the general public's ideas (both in the U.S. and abroad) about rights versus duties, so that legislative and policy changes can be based on solid support, not assumptions. Two strategies are used to lead readers toward a better understanding of human rights and duties.

Chapters by empirical researchers present findings on citizens' commonsense understandings of rights and duties, while normative chapters by leading social theorists conceptualize rights and duties from many perspectives. By contrasting present-day circumstances of life in many social spheres with the world of ideas, the editors expose the debate between what human rights and duties are and what they ought to be. The contributors respond to a number of provocative questions raised by the authors, including:

  • Can duties have primacy over rights in one culture, while another is rights-centered?
  • Are rights and duties imposed from the outside, or do they evolve as the self develops?
  • Does a set of "universal" rights and duties exist?
  • How does power in individual or group-to-group relationships affect rights and duties?
Table of Contents



  1. Human Rights and Duties: An Introduction
    —Norman J. Finkel and Fathali M. Moghaddam

I. Empirical Contributions on Rights, Duties, and Culture

  1. Universal Rights and Duties as Normative Social Representations
    —Dario Spini and Willem Doise
  2. Understanding Rights and Duties in Different Cultures and Contexts: Observations From German and Korean Adolescents
    —Siegfried Hoppe-Graff and Hye-On Kim
  3. Toward a Cultural Theory of Rights and Duties in Human Development
    —Fathali M. Moghaddam and Cara Joy Riley
  4. Rights and Duties as Group Norms: Implications of Intergroup Research for the Study of Rights and Responsibilities
    —Winnifred R. Louis and Donald M. Taylor

II. Empirical Contributions on the Relationship Between Rights and Duties

  1. A Deference-Based Perspective on Duty: Empowering Government to Define Duties to Oneself and to Others
    —Tom R. Tyler
  2. On the Commonsense Justice and Black-Letter Law Relationship: At the Empirical–Normative Divide
    —Norman J. Finkel
  3. Patients' Rights and Physicians' Duties: Implications for the Doctor–Patient Relationship and the Quality of Health Care
    —Philip J. Moore, Stephanie Spernak, and Enid Chung
  4. The Rightful Place of Human Rights: Incorporating Individual, Group, and Cultural Perspectives
    —Stephen Worchel

III. Normative Commentaries

  1. An Ontology for Duties and Rights
    —Rom Harré
  2. Taking Duties Seriously: To What Problems Are Rights and Duties the Solution?
    —Thomas L. Haskell
  3. Theories of Justice, Rights, and Duties: Negotiating the Interface Between Normative and Empirical Inquiry
    —Thomas A. Spragens Jr.
  4. Rights and Duties: Psychology's Contributions, Normative Assessments, and Future Research
    —Fathali M. Moghaddam and Norman J. Finkel

Appendix: United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights


About the Editors