Social norm

  • shaking hands after a sports match is an example of a social norm.

    social norms are regarded as collective representations of acceptable group conduct as well as individual perceptions of particular group conduct.[1] they can be viewed as cultural products (including values, customs, and traditions)[2] which represent individuals' basic knowledge of what others do and think that they should do.[3] from a sociological perspective, social norms are informal understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society.[4] social psychology recognizes smaller group units (such as a team or an office) may also endorse norms separately or in addition to cultural or societal expectations.[5]

    in the field of social psychology, the roles of norms are emphasized—which can guide behavior in a certain situation or environment as "mental representations of appropriate behavior".[6] it has been shown that normative messages can promote pro-social behavior, including decreasing alcohol use,[7] increasing voter turnout,[8] and reducing energy use.[9] according to the psychological definition of social norms' behavioral component, norms have two dimensions: how much a behavior is exhibited, and how much the group approves of that behavior.[5] these dimensions can be used in normative messages to alter norms (and subsequently alter behaviors). a message can target the former dimension by describing high levels of voter turnout in order to encourage more turnout. norms also can be changed contingent on the observed behavior of others (how much behavior is exhibited).

    social norms can be thought of as: "rules that prescribe what people should and should not do given their social surroundings" (known as milieu, sociocultural context) and circumstances. examination of norms is "scattered across disciplines and research traditions, with no clear consensus on how the term should be used."[10]

  • emergence and transmission
  • deviance from social norms
  • behavior
  • social control
  • sociology
  • focus theory of normative conduct
  • types
  • mathematical representations
  • see also
  • references
  • further reading
  • external links

Shaking hands after a sports match is an example of a social norm.

Social norms are regarded as collective representations of acceptable group conduct as well as individual perceptions of particular group conduct.[1] They can be viewed as cultural products (including values, customs, and traditions)[2] which represent individuals' basic knowledge of what others do and think that they should do.[3] From a sociological perspective, social norms are informal understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society.[4] Social psychology recognizes smaller group units (such as a team or an office) may also endorse norms separately or in addition to cultural or societal expectations.[5]

In the field of social psychology, the roles of norms are emphasized—which can guide behavior in a certain situation or environment as "mental representations of appropriate behavior".[6] It has been shown that normative messages can promote pro-social behavior, including decreasing alcohol use,[7] increasing voter turnout,[8] and reducing energy use.[9] According to the psychological definition of social norms' behavioral component, norms have two dimensions: how much a behavior is exhibited, and how much the group approves of that behavior.[5] These dimensions can be used in normative messages to alter norms (and subsequently alter behaviors). A message can target the former dimension by describing high levels of voter turnout in order to encourage more turnout. Norms also can be changed contingent on the observed behavior of others (how much behavior is exhibited).

Social norms can be thought of as: "rules that prescribe what people should and should not do given their social surroundings" (known as milieu, sociocultural context) and circumstances. Examination of norms is "scattered across disciplines and research traditions, with no clear consensus on how the term should be used."[10]