New blog alert! The Situationist is a new blog featuring a group of law scholars and social scientists interested in exploring the implications of social science research for legal thought. The name of the blog references situationism, a legal perspective that embraces the empirical rigor of social science in place of naïve psychology.
Situationism is premised on the social scientific insight that the naïve psychology—that is, the highly simplified, affirming, and widely held model for understanding human thinking and behavior—on which our laws and institutions are based is largely wrong. Situationists (including critical realists, behavioral realists, and related neo-realists) seek first to establish a view of the human animal that is as realistic as possible before turning to legal theory or policy. To do so, situationists rely on the insights of scientific disciplines devoted to understanding how humans make sense of their world—including social psychology, social cognition, and related disciplines—and the practices of institutions devoted to understanding, predicting, and influencing people’s conduct—particularly market practices.
The blog is created by Harvard law professor, Jon Hanson, and Mississippi law prof, Michael McCann (who also blogs at the excellent Sports Law Blog). But perhaps the most famous resident of the new blog is social psychologist, Phillip Zimbardo (of Stanford prison experiment fame). This looks to be a blog of some interest to organizational scholars, particularly those with an economic sociology angle.