Group Property 2: Norms

  1. 4 Demonstrate how norms exert influence on an individual’s behavior.

Did you ever notice that golfers don’t speak while their partners are putting? Why not? The answer is norms.

All groups have established norms—acceptable standards of behavior shared by members that express what they ought and ought not to do under certain circumstances. It’s not enough for group leaders to share their opinions—even if members adopt the leaders’ views, the effect may last only 3 days!28 When agreed to by the group, norms influence behavior with a minimum of external controls. Different groups, communities, and societies have different norms, but they all have them.29 Let’s discuss the levels of influence norms can exert over us, starting ...

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