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3 Examples of Reasonable Expectations

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Reasonable expectations is the principle that responsibilities and rights are to be interpreted in terms of what a reasonable person might expect in a particular situation. The following are illustrative examples.

Legal

In contract law, the reasonable expectations of the weaker party to a contract may be used to interpret any ambiguities. For example, a theme park claims in its terms and conditions that they aren't responsible for the safety of guests. A reasonable person might nonetheless expect that the park properly maintains its equipment and performs safety inspections on attractions.

Privacy

A reasonable expectation of privacy is often used to interpret privacy rights. For example, a hotel states in its guest contract that they reserve the right to monitor guests. A guest might nonetheless reasonably expect that there are no hidden cameras in their room.

Norms

Reasonable expectations are an element of culture in the form of norms. Norms help to provide civility in a society or culture with unwritten rules that are followed without any formal enforcement. For example, a homeowner in a particular society might reasonable expect their neighbor to take down their Christmas lights in January. If the neighbor leaves them up all year, the homeowner may use social pressure such as criticism to attempt to get the neighbor to follow the norm. This is a lightweight social process that doesn't require a government to dictate every aspect of life in order for people to get along.
Overview: Reasonable Expectations
Type
Definition
The principle that responsibilities and rights are to be interpreted in terms of what a reasonable person might expect in a particular situation.
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