Social Norm

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A Social Norm is a implicit guideline that applies to social agent actions.



  • (Wikipedia, 2023) ⇒ Retrieved:2023-7-17.
    • A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated, or generally accepted standards, social norms, or other criteria, often taking the form of a custom.

      In a social context, a convention may retain the character of an "unwritten law" of custom (for example, the manner in which people greet each other, such as by shaking each other's hands). Certain types of rules or customs may become law and sometimes they may be further codified to formalize or enforce the convention (for example, laws that define on which side of the road vehicles must be driven).

      In physical sciences, numerical values (such as constants, quantities, or scales of measurement) are called conventional if they do not represent a measured property of nature, but originate in a convention, for example an average of many measurements, agreed between the scientists working with these values.



  • (Wikipedia, 2020) ⇒ Retrieved:2020-5-19.
    • 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) which represent individuals' basic knowledge of what others do and think that they should do. From a sociological perspective, social norms are informal understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society.[2] 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. ...
  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named lapinski & rimal
  2. Marshall, G. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology




  • (von Rohr et al., 2011) ⇒ Claudia Rudolf von Rohr, Judith M. Burkart, and Carel P. Van Schaik. (2011). “Evolutionary Precursors of Social Norms in Chimpanzees: A New Approach." Biology & Philosophy 26, no. 1
    • ABSTRACT: Moral behaviour, based on social norms, is commonly regarded as a hallmark of humans. Hitherto, humans are perceived to be the only species possessing social norms and to engage in moral behaviour. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting their presence in chimpanzees, but systematic studies are lacking. Here, we examine the evolution of human social norms and their underlying psychological mechanisms. For this, we distinguish between conventions, cultural social norms and universal social norms. We aim at exploring whether chimpanzees possess evolutionary precursors of universal social norms seen in humans. Chimpanzees exhibit important preconditions for their presence and enforcement: tolerant societies, well-developed social-cognitive skills and empathetic competence. Here, we develop a theoretical framework for recognizing different functional levels of social norms and distinguish them from mere statistical behavioural regularities. Quasi social norms are found where animals behave functionally moral without having moral emotions. In proto social norms, moral emotions might be present but cannot be collectivized due to the absence of a uniquely human psychological trait, i.e. shared intentionality. Human social norms, whether they are universal or cultural, involve moral emotions and are collectivized. We will discuss behaviours in chimpanzees that represent potential evolutionary precursors of human universal social norms, with special focus on social interactions involving infants. We argue that chimpanzee infants occupy a special status within their communities and propose that tolerance towards them might represent a proto social norm. Finally, we discuss possible ways to test this theoretical framework.