Expectation and reliance are concepts that continue to vie for priority as core organizing principles of contract law. The expectation and reliance interests appear to differ from each other both in how they conceptualize the essential wrong alleged in contract litigation and in how they would propose to remedy that wrong. Expectation views the wrong as the breaking of a promise, and seeks to remedy that wrong by awarding specific or substitutionary relief that will give the promisee the benefit of that promise.' Reliance views the wrong as the making of a promise that induced the promisee to change her position to her detriment, and seeks to remedy that wrong by restoring the plaintiff to the position she would have occupied had the defendant not made her promise.
Christopher T. Wonnell,
Expectation, Reliance, and the Two Contractual Wrongs,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol38/iss1/4