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Undue Influence – Definition

Undue Influence Definition

An individual is said to exercise an undue influence over another if he takes advantage of the relationship he has with the other individual or his position to influence their decisions. Undue influence often occurs when there is inequity in power and status between parties, in this situation, one party tries to dominate or change other people’s decisions due to the influence he has over them.

When a person coerces another person to make certain decisions because he has more status, education or position than the other. Oftentimes, the decision made is not in the best interest of both parties, rather, it favours the higher individual more.

A Little More on What is Undue Influence

When an individual takes advantage of the other party who is weaker, undue influence has taken place. When people influence other people’s decisions because they have a tie with them or are on a position higher than they are, it is an undue influence. In most cases, when undue influence is exercised, the superior party benefits from the decision made more than the party coerced to make the decision.

Once an individual uses his position or status to power over other people’s decision, it is undue influence. There are a number of risks attributed to exercising undue influence, these risks are experienced more than the weaker party.

Example of Undue Influence

Undue influence can be exercised in diverse categories, the most common ones are between a parent and a child, a, employer and an employee, a boss and an underling, and many others. Undue influence can also occur between friends, take for example, if Brandy has interest in investing in real estate to make profit and his friend Cendric needs a space to start his business. Brandy can influence Cendric’s decision and make him take up the property he wants to invest in even if it is more than Cendric’s budget, in this scenario, Brandy has used the relationship between them to influence the decision of Cendric.

References for “Undue Influence

Academic research for “Undue Influence

Unmasking undue influence, Madoff, R. D. (1996). Unmasking undue influence. Minn. L. Rev., 81, 571.

Do incentives exert undue influence on survey participation? Experimental evidence, Singer, E., & Couper, M. P. (2008). Do incentives exert undue influence on survey participation? Experimental evidence. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 3(3), 49-56.

Undue Influence: Impaired Consent or Wicked Exploitation, Bigwood, R. (1996). Undue Influence: Impaired Consent or Wicked Exploitation. Oxford J. Legal Stud., 16, 503.

Fraud, undue influence and mental incompetency, Green, M. D. (1943). Fraud, undue influence and mental incompetency. Colum. L. Rev., 43, 176.

Measuring channel capacity to distinguish undue influence, Newsome, J., McCamant, S., & Song, D. (2009, June). Measuring channel capacity to distinguish undue influence. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN Fourth Workshop on Programming Languages and Analysis for Security (pp. 73-85). ACM.

Fraud, Undue Influence, and Mistake in Wills, Warren, J. (1928). Fraud, Undue Influence, and Mistake in Wills. Harvard Law Review, 41(3), 309-339.

Recurrent binge eating with and without the “undue influence of weight or shape on self-evaluation”: Implications for the diagnosis of binge eating disorder, Mond, J. M., Hay, P. J., Rodgers, B., & Owen, C. (2007). Recurrent binge eating with and without the “undue influence of weight or shape on self-evaluation”: Implications for the diagnosis of binge eating disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45(5), 929-938.

Undoing undue influence, Quinn, M. J. (2000). Undoing undue influence. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 12(2), 9-17.

Direct democracy, campaign finance, and the courts: Can corruption, undue influence, and declining voter confidence be found, Shockley, J. S. (1984). Direct democracy, campaign finance, and the courts: Can corruption, undue influence, and declining voter confidence be found. U. Miami L. Rev., 39, 377.

Why the testamentary doctrine of undue influence should be abolished, Spivack, C. (2009). Why the testamentary doctrine of undue influence should be abolished. U. Kan. L. Rev., 58, 245.

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