Addresses the efficacy of legal interventions as instruments for implementing paternalistic public policies intended to prevent or discourage unsafe or unhealthy personal choices (i.e., risk-taking behavior [RTB]). Areas discussed include the behavioral context and the psychology of RTB, methods of reducing the opportunity for RTB, and increasing the price of RTB. The direct regulation of RTBs such as the possession of illicit drugs, drinking by persons who are underage, public smoking, and driving while intoxicated is considered. The theory of risk homeostasis, which predicts human dynamics in the face of risk, is also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Richard J. Bonnie, The Efficacy of Law as a Paternalistic Instrument, 33 Nebraska Symposium on Human Motivation 131–211 (1985).