A psychological perspective on punishing corporate entities

A. Mentovich, M. Cerf

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter takes a psychological perspective to examine how individuals make decisions about culpability and punishment of corporations versus people. Drawing on relevant empirical research we make the argument that while corporate crime raises the social need and public demand for retribution and deterrence, it is principally difficult to attribute mental life, character, intention, and hence, culpability to corporate entities. Since the psychology of punishment is more fitting to assess the culpability of individuals, corporations as collective entities are deemed as less responsible and less culpable compared with individuals when conducting equivalent wrongdoings, particularly those that demand intent. At the same time, corporate entities are also seen as less deserving of constitutional rights. These findings carry implications for criminal law and legal design.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRegulating Corporate Criminal Liability
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319059938
ISBN (Print)9783319059921
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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