Want to do research and publish? - great - get the Why and the How from mr Schulman
Can't help laughing from readin this. But then again, it's only research.
This blog is about legal self-efficacy - a concept of distributed legal effectiveness and the experience of finishing my thesis. I am a PhD candidate in Business Administration at Stockholm University and South Stockholm University / Södertörns Högskola, in Stockholm Sweden.
The simple logic of legal self-efficacy explained in brief
Here's the argument of my seventh paper. I have written three papers on legal self-efficacy - and in this fourth one I have decided that I need to connect this concept with a discussion of risk. So now I read like ten papers and books on the subject - here are my tentative findings:
1. Risk is the product of likelihood of an event + consequences of that event.
2. Subjective risk is the individual's perception of risk and depends on the subjective probability of a particular event or performance of a task and the subjective dealing with the consequences of that event. Objective risk is the risk as measured by independent and recurrent calculations of a similar event.
3. Self-efficacy is the belief of an individual in his/her own ability to performa certain task. This belief has an effect on the risk perception on that particular task. Therfore the person has a lower subjective risk of the task. In turn, the person is more likely not to shy away from carrying out that task.
4. Legal self-efficacy lowers the subjective risk of an individual when making decisions about legal and financial transactions which themselves are a risk.
Simple enough? I think so. Simple is good.
Writing a paper?
The best guide that I have found to help you do this is:
Kazdin, A. (1995) Preparing and Evaluating Research Reports.Psychological Assessment .Vol. 7, No. 3, 228-237.
Download it here (Copyable and downloadable PDF):
Especially useful is page 232. Read it.
The most of your time and energy should be spent on the section that brings your novelty - what new findings or theories you bring to your field of research. Then literary review, method, and then introduction and conclusion.
Self-efficacy as an attitude that tones down risk: sounds interesting?
A mountain climber(Person MC) that has climbing self-efficacy (CSE) will see the prospect of climbing a mountain less risk than a person without such attitude. This will make the risks involved seem more attainable and the possible consequences of a mishap less threatening.
But will this attitude affect the risk propensity of the mountain climber when compared to a person without the attitude (normal person NP)? Coudl the risk propensity could very well be the same?
Well, risk propensity in turn depends on risk perception - a person that sees no risk in prospects will be more risk prone since he sees less subjective risk. But the objective risk may be the same. After all climbing self-efficacy may not enable a person to climb a mountain better than a person without it. The mountain is the same mountain. Are risk perception and risk risk propensity mutually dependent on each other?
How to measure risk propensity independent of risk perception? Perhaps we can test risp propensity in a situation where MC and NP have the same risk-perception such as crossing a river: the person who dares most with the same risk perception has more risk propensity.
Risk propensity can lower risk perception so that a person's will perceive less risk when they are prone to try their luck. Or what do you think?
Legal self-efficacy: what does it imply?
Legal self-efficacy is a measure to which degree an individual is comfortable with the use of legal terminology in communication with other people.
Self-efficacy is a tried and tested theory of psychology, for a lenghthier introduction see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-efficacy
My theory is an application of Hirschmann's theory of exit-voice-loyalty on law as a means of communication (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exit,_Voice,_and_Loyalty). It is also an application of Luhmann's theory of law as a means of communication.
The concept is a response to the law and economics approach to understanding the interplay between behaviour of businessmen and the law. In two articles LLSC (1997, 1998) assess creditor protection in a number of common and civil law countries. They conclude that common law is more conducice to external finance of firms since it provides better creditor protection. Their approach was followed by a number of similar attempts (Pistor 2000) and similar approaches. My take is that neither Law and Economics nor Legal sociology have developed the right tools for testing the vast array of theories in psychology on businessmens' transaction behavior. The world of neoclassical economics and ration actor theory still rules in Law and Economics. We all know that humans do not possess perfect information and perfect rationality. Humans are subject to bounded rationality and learned heuristics. Humans are plagued by biases and are not able to make Bayesian calculations instantly, some even grasp what this concept means. This is why the Coase theorem doesn't apply to real life as much as we would like to since transaction costs are too high. That's why we can use Legal self-efficacy as this is a risk reduction.
My concept is used to test businessmen's use of law, granting of trade credit, and private property protection as well as customer structure in the forthcoming dissertation tentively titled "Legal Self-efficacy". It will consist of five to seven papers, four already published and the one I write at present will be submitted for publication.
Right now I am writing my seventh and final paper for the dissertation.
The preliminary title is "Legal self-efficacy and Property Rights".
It demonstrates that Legal self-efficacy has a positive and significant impact on managers' protection of businesses' property rights.
I'm wrestling with the final format of this paper - I have decided that it should be written for European Journal of Law and Economics. Let's see if they agree. Not yet, they will have to wait for another two months or so.