Social Norms In Psychology

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Social norms have been referenced throughout the field of psychology as the unwritten rules of culture within society. By definition, social norms are rules of a group concerning the appropriateness or inappropriateness of certain values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, and are a result of socialization (Bernstein, Penner, Clarke-Stewart, & Roy, 2011). These norms can be categorized as descriptive, injunctive, or reciprocity norms. Descriptive norms are used to describe how the majority of people within a certain group act. Injunctive norms describe what people within a certain group are expected or what they should do. Finally, reciprocity norms are responses to others based on how they have responded to you (Berstain et al., 2011). These …show more content…
Typically, within the studying culture at DePauw, if studying with friends one would sit a few feet away from another. In conjunction to this, students usually spread their materials out over the table taking up their own space. In order to violate this social norm, I went to the library to study with friends, a common scenario. However, when studying at a table, I sat very close to them, as opposed to respecting personal space per usual. I also spread all of my materials on the floor, instead of the table. The resulting setting included me sitting within a few inches of my friend, studying as usual, and all of my studying materials, except for my laptop, on the …show more content…
This process is typically referred to as socialization (Berstain et al., 2011). Norms learned via observing how others act within any given situation are referred to as descriptive norms. They describe how others act. However, these descriptive norms do not always match up with injunctive norms, norms that reflect what people should do within a situation. In another added contrast are reciprocity norms, norms learned by responding to others as they have to you in previous experience. When considering these categories, it is also important to comprehend the idea that social norms are not consistent within differing cultures, roles within a social group, and status of surrounding beings, and thus are not all-inclusive (Berstain et al., 2011). When social norms are violated, a multitude of consequences can be presented. Typically, any type of violation to societal norm is viewed as isolation from the status quo. This in turn produces other reactions, such as legal ramifications, physical harm, or segregation from the original

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