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Bidirectional associations between descriptive and injunctive norms
Stockholm University, Sweden; Malardalen University, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Stockholm University, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Sweden; University of Sussex, England.
2015 (English)In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, ISSN 0749-5978, E-ISSN 1095-9920, Vol. 129, 59-69 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Modern research on social norms makes an important distinction between descriptive norms (how people commonly behave) and injunctive norms (what one is morally obligated to do). Here we propose that this distinction is far from clear in the cognition of social norms. In a first study, using the implicit association test, the concepts of "common" and "moral" were found to be strongly associated. Some implications of this automatic common-moral association were investigated in a subsequent series of experiments: Our participants tended to make explicit inferences from descriptive norms to injunctive norms and vice versa; they tended to mix up descriptive and injunctive concepts in recall tasks; and frequency information influenced participants own moral judgments. We conclude by discussing how the common-moral association could play a role in the dynamics of social norms. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2015. Vol. 129, 59-69 p.
Keyword [en]
Descriptive norms; Injunctive norms; Automatic association; Priming; Implicit association test; Recall; Moral judgments; Frequency dependence; Conformity; Social influence
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120748DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2014.09.011ISI: 000358468800006OAI: diva2:848182

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council [2009-2390, 2009-2678]

Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2015-08-24

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Strimling, Pontus
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The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IASFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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