Skip to main content

Video: Tom Tyler


Tom R. Tyler
Professor of Psychology
New York University

Tom Tyler's research group is concerned with a variety of issues broadly related to the dynamics of authority within groups, organizations, and societies. As psychologists, their particular interest is in the factors that shape people's motivations when they are dealing with others in group settings.

Because justice has been found to be especially important to people's motivation when dealing with others, Tyler studies social justice. In particular, his work focuses on the psychology of procedural justice - the fairness of group rules and processes. Research consistently finds that people are strongly influenced by their assessments of procedural justice when they are evaluating authorities and institutions.

Tom Tyler: Interview

Tyler speaks with Valerie Hans on procedural justice.

Question 1: You started your academic career being interested in conflict resolution. Can you tell us how that led to procedural justice?

Question 2: Tyler, one of the leading researchers and thinkers in the area of "procedural justice," discusses what it is, and what research shows

Question 3: How can getting a traffic ticket enhance police legitimacy?

Question 4: Law and economics is very influential in law school courses; it focuses law students' attention on cost/benefit analyses and the actual outcomes people get. Yet you find that people are often more concerned about how they are treated, and whether or not they are treated fairly, than about the particular outcomes they get from the legal system. Are economic and psychological perspectives at odds?

Question 5: Your book Trust in the Law focuses on diversity and justice issues. Can you tell us more?

Question 6: Hans and Tyler discuss lay people's engagement with and attitudes about law, offering Japanese and US examples

Question 7: Can you tell us about research findings on public opinion about the death penalty?