Sorry if this is in the wrong place or just a dumb question. It honestly expect it to be rejected. However...

I'm curious if there's a term for the human inability to fully predict what it will be like living under the terms of a legal contract. I'm talking about having an intellectual understanding of the contract at the time of signing only to realize later that you didn't-- and couldn't-- predict the emotional response you would have to it.

To be clear, I'm not asking if the contract is legal or enforceable. I'm talking about an inability to truly, viscerally understand what life under the terms of the contract would be like at the time of signing.

This question has to do with a home owners' association. I believe it was impossible to truly understand how obnoxious and petty the HOA would be just by reading the text of the contract. I believe that they rely on this human characteristic to not fully "get it" until after the fact when it's too late. I'm wondering if others in my neighborhood have had the same reaction but I need a name to call it, if there is one.

Any ideas?


  • Informed consent?
    – user18924
    Jan 17, 2020 at 8:48
  • 1
    The potential for a party to be obnoxious and/or petty in requiring adherence to a contract is not a legal point or concept, it's a sociological and economic one, and the inability to grasp consequences of a choice is likewise a psychological point, not a legal one.
    – user4657
    Feb 15, 2020 at 8:45
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a question about potentially several sociological, psychological and economic phrases and concepts, but not the law or legal process.
    – user4657
    Feb 15, 2020 at 8:46

2 Answers 2


What is the term for the human behavior of not being able to truly understand what it means to abide by a legal contract until after the fact?

The title and your actual question relate to different things. The question as worded in the title is too ambiguous, but one crucial principle of contract law is that contracts be entered knowingly and willfully.

The term resulting from the HOA's obnoxious and petty conduct sounds in violation (or breach) of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. That covenant is presumed and requisite in contract law. That is why a breach of that covenant is tantamount to breaching the contract itself.


Buyer’s remorse?

Assuming that you intellectually understood the contract (and adult’s are presumed at law to do so barring some legal impediment- like they were probably drunk) and that the contract terms are being enforced reasonably (in a way that a reasonable person would expect) and fairly (equally applied to all) then there are no legal remedies.

By and large, no one is legally responsible for how you feel.

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