In this interview with Tom Tyler, a renowned psychologist, and professor at Yale Law School, he talks about the fascinating interplay between trust, law, and legitimacy. He highlights the paradox within the legal system, where beliefs about psychology play a significant role, yet empirical research is often overlooked. During the interview, we explore the importance of procedural fairness in exploring trust and fostering compliance. Fair treatment, respect, and providing a voice to individuals emerged as key elements shaping perceptions of authority.
Our discussion also examines the impact of trust-based systems versus sanction-based approaches, showcasing the benefits of cooperation and community viability. Tom’s expertise illuminated the need to bridge the gap between empirical research and legal practice, urging legal professionals to integrate evidence-based insights.
Books by Tom Tyler
Professor Tyler’s research explores the role of justice in shaping people’s relationships with groups, organizations, communities, and societies. In particular, he examines the role of judgments about the justice or injustice of group procedures in shaping legitimacy, compliance, and cooperation. He is the author of several books, including Why People Cooperate (2011); Legitimacy and Criminal Justice (2007); Why People Obey the Law (2006); Trust in the Law (2002); and Cooperation in Groups (2000). He was awarded the Harry Kalven prize for “paradigm shifting scholarship in the study of law and society” by the Law and Society Association in 2000, and in 2012, was honored by the International Society for Justice Research with its Lifetime Achievement Award for innovative research on social justice.