Monday, June 17, 2024

What Are Norms In Psychology

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Connect The Concepts: Tweens Teens And Social Norms

Social norms – Intro to Psychology

Figure 2. Young people struggle to become independent at the same time they are desperately trying to fit in with their peers.

My 11-year-old daughter, Jessica, recently told me she needed shorts and shirts for the summer, and that she wanted me to take her to a store at the mall that is popular with preteens and teens to buy them. I have noticed that many girls have clothes from that store, so I tried teasing her. I said, All the shirts say Aero on the front. If you are wearing a shirt like that and you have a substitute teacher, and the other girls are all wearing that type of shirt, wont the substitute teacher think you are all named Aero?

My daughter replied, in typical 11-year-old fashion, Mom, you are not funny. Can we please go shopping?

I tried a different tactic. I asked Jessica if having clothing from that particular store will make her popular. She replied, No, it will not make me popular. It is what the popular kids wear. It will make me feel happier. How can a label or name brand make someone feel happier? Think back to what youve learned about lifespan development. What is it about pre-teens and young teens that make them want to fit in ? Does this change over time? Think back to your high school experience, or look around your college campus. What is the main name brand clothing you see? What messages do we get from the media about how to fit in?

The Role Of New And Developing Technologies In Delivering Social Normative Feedback

The last action highlighted in the prior review was a need for a better understanding of how new technological developments may improve the dissemination of social normative feedback, such as social media and mobile technologies . Only one study has reported using social media to deliver an SNA intervention, with Facebook messages used to deliver feedback comparing actual and perceived injunctive and descriptive alcohol use norms amongst a group of university students . Social media has been noted as a source of information as to what the perceived social norms of a group are , therefore it is important to understand the role of social media and other new technologies in the creation and dissemination of normative misperceptions. For example, Ridout and Campbell demonstrate the how the pervasiveness of social media can be used to implement the SNA, with reductions in drinking frequencies and quantities noted for participants receiving feedback via Facebook compared to a control. These innovations are important to consider given that students and young people are increasingly moving away from using forms of electronic communication such as email toward social networking media .

What Is A Norm Why Does It Matter

  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • M.A., Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • B.A., Sociology, Pomona College

Simply put, a norm is a rule that guides behavior among members of a society or group. Founding sociologist Émile Durkheim considered norms to be social facts: things which exist in society independent of individuals, and that shape our thoughts and behavior. As such, they have a coercive power over us . Sociologists consider the force that norms exert both good and bad, but before we get into that, let’s make a couple of important distinctions between the norm, normal, and normative.

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Deviance From Social Norms

Deviance is defined as “nonconformity to a set of norms that are accepted by a significant number of people in a community or society.” More simply put, if group members do not follow a norm, they become labeled as a deviant. In the sociological literature, this can often lead to them being considered outcasts of society. Yet, deviant behavior amongst children is somewhat expected. Except the idea of this deviance manifesting as a criminal action, the social tolerance given in the example of the child is quickly withdrawn against the criminal. Crime is considered one of the most extreme forms of deviancy according to scholar Clifford R. Shaw.

Critical Appraisal Of The Current State Of The Social Norms Approach Literature

Deviation from Social Norms

An earlier review and commentary on the development of the Social Norms Approach identified a number of actions for the field to address . The first two actions related to better understanding the role of group identification on the development of normative misperceptions, and how individuals understand and visualize their normative referent groups included in feedback . The third action was the need for a more nuanced understanding of how new and developing technologies can facilitate the dissemination of social normative feedback .

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What Are Norms In Psychology

A Psychological Capacity Dedicated to Norms. Norms are the rules of a group of people that mark out what is appropriate, allowed, required, or forbidden for various members in different situations. They are typically manifest in common behavioral regularities that are kept in place by social sanctions.

What is norms and its examples?

Norms are a fundamental concept in the social sciences. They are most commonly defined as rules or expectations that are socially enforced. Norms may be prescriptive or proscriptive .

What are the types of norms in psychological testing? There are four kinds of norms i.e. Age norms, Grade norms, Percentile norms and Standard score norms.

What are some examples of norms?

  • Shake hands when you meet someone.
  • Make direct eye contact with the person you are speaking with.
  • Unless the movie theater is crowded, do not sit right next to someone.
  • Do not stand close enough to a stranger to touch arms or hips.

Challenges And Opportunities Associated With Using The Social Norms Approach

There are several immediate challenges and opportunities for the advancement of the SNA. The SNA remains highly focused on student behaviors and alcohol use despite its potential applicability to a wide variety of health behaviors and settings, particularly protective and more positive health behaviors. There is the potential for the approach to be applied to understand other behaviors, such as self-harm and suicidality , gambling , students study habits , as well as addressing bullying and victimization amongst schoolchildren , and intimate partner violence . Few studies have used the SNA in non-university settings, although this is starting to be addressed by research in high schools , with armed forces personnel , in community and hospital-based public health campaigns , and with non-Western communities, such as novel work investigating HIV testing uptake in Uganda . The potential universality of the SNA in understanding the engagement in risky behaviors, and to intervene to prevent harm across a range of settings, remains one of the approachs key strengths. Further evaluation of the SNA outside of student samples and university settings is particularly needed.

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Cross Cultural Standardized Pictures

This study extends findings from a 1980 study using 260 line drawings of everyday objects and determining familiarity with those objects. The research compared name and concept agreement across Chinese and American, and young and old age groups.

Citation: Yoon, C., Feinberg, F., Luo, T., Hedden, T., Gutchess, A.H., Chen, H.Y., Mikels, J.A., Jiao, S., & Park, D.C. . A Cross-Culturally Standardized Set of Pictures for Younger and Older Adults: American and Chinese Norms for Name Agreement, Concept Agreement and Familiarity. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 36, 639-649.

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A Critical Appraisal Of The Social Norms Approach As An Interventional Strategy For Health

Psychological testing-Norms
  • 1Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research and Centre for Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, School of Life Sciences and Education, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
  • 2Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
  • 3Division of Psychological and Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

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Norms: Rules Governing Behavior

Now, back to norms. While we can understand norms simply as rules that tell us what we should or shouldn’t do, there’s much more to them that sociologists find interesting and worthy of study. For example, sociological focus is often directed at how norms are disseminatedhow we come to learn them. The process of socialization is guided by norms and taught to us by those around us, including our families, teachers, and authority figures from religion, politics, law, and popular culture. We learn them through spoken and written directive, but also through observing those around us. We do this a lot as children, but we also do it as adults in unfamiliar spaces, among new groups of people, or in places we visit for this time. Learning the norms of any given space or group allows us to function in that setting, and to be accepted by those present.

The Structure Of Values And Norms

Multiple values and norms are organized and linked in the cultures of human social systems and also are linked when they are internalized by individuals. Cultural “value orientations” organize and link values and norms to existential beliefs in general views that also might be called worldviews or ideologies . They are sets of linked propositions embracing evaluative and existential elements that describe preferred or obligatory states. Values and norms are linked to and buttressed by existential beliefs about human nature, the human condition, interpersonal relations, the functioning of social organizations and societies, and the nature of the world. Since existential beliefs focus on what is true versus untrue, they are to some degree empirically based and verifiable.

In most of the early conceptual and theoretical work on values, values and norms were not differentiated clearly. Later, particularly as attempts to measure values and norms were made, the two concepts were routinely considered distinct, and studies focusing on them have been carried out separately since that time. As a result, the relationship between values and norms rarely has been analyzed theoretically or empirically.

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Social Norms In Psychology

In social situations, we have expectations of how someone should behave based on their background and location. In some groups this could mean being calm while in others it might call for excitement these variations depend largely upon the culture at large but also specific group norms that each individual knows well from previous experiences

A persons natural tendency will often guide him or her through everyday life until an event occurs which prompts him/her into acting differently than expected.

Social norms are a huge part of our culture and society, but do you know what they really stand for? According to the article Social Norms, by Sheryl Sontave in The Atlantic Monthly from January 2017, social pressure can force us into conformity when we dont want to. This happens because most people have been taught from an early age how important it is to follow these ruleseven if deep down inside there might be some disobedience going on! For example: In America during December-January each year , many will give gifts without hesitation whether this means baking cookies or giving your neighbor something special at work isnt questioned as much anymore instead moving just does it out of habit without thinking twice about.

Analysis Of Social Norms

Social psychology

Although both descriptive and prescriptive norms guide behavior, they do so through different psychological processes. Descriptive norms guide behavior because people take them to represent the most sensible course of action, a process known as informational social influence. Prescriptive norms guide behavior because people take them to represent the socially sanctioned course of action, a process known as normative social influence. The two types of norms also differ in how people experience the consequences of violating them.

Specifically violating a descriptive norm does not have quite the sting that violating a prescriptive norm has. For example, if knowing Latin is a descriptive norm at College X, a student who does not know Latin may feel relatively Latin-challenged however, if knowing Latin is a prescriptive norm at College X, this student may very well feel ignorant and uneducated.

One final difference between descriptive and prescriptive norms concerns the scope of their influence on behavior. Descriptive norms influence behavior only within the particular situation and group for which the norm operates. Prescriptive norms have more far-reaching influence they influence behavior across situations and populations.

Thus, a descriptive norm of not smoking at College X will lead students to avoid smoking on campus but not off a prescriptive norm of not smoking at College X will lead students to avoid smoking all together.

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The Psychology Of Normative Cognition

From an early age, humans exhibit a tendency to identify, adopt, andenforce the norms of their local communities. Norms are the socialrules that mark out what is appropriate, allowed, required, orforbidden in different situations for various community members. Theserules are informal in the sense that although they are sometimesrepresented in formal laws, such as the rule governing which side ofthe road to drive on, they need not be explicitly codified toeffectively influence behavior. There are rules that forbid theft orthe breaking of promises, but also rules which govern how close it isappropriate to stand to someone while talking to them, or how loud oneshould talk during the conversation. Thus understood, norms regulate awide range of activity. They exhibit cultural variability in theirprescriptions and proscriptions, but the presence of norms in generalappears to be culturally universal. Some norms exhibit characteristicsthat are often associated with morality, such as a rule that appliesto everyone and prohibits causing unnecessary harm. Other norms applyonly to certain people, such as those that delimit appropriateclothing for members of different genders, or those concerning theexpectations and responsibilities ascribed to individuals who occupypositions of leadership. The norms that prevail in a community can bemore or less fair, reasonable, or impartial, and can be subject tocritique and change.

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  • Gender Norms And Roles

    Social norms in most cultures permit alcohol use more for men than for women. For men, drinking can serve as a demonstration of their masculinity, their nonconformity, their willingness to take risks, and their superior status. Women who drink, however, are viewed in some cultures as less moral and responsible, more sexually promiscuous, and more sexually vulnerable. Womens drinking is often seen as a threat to their roles as mothers and as the purveyors of family values. Women are aware of these norms and, to a large extent, enforce them. In a US national survey, 65% of the women said they strongly disapproved of a woman getting drunk, while 58% disapproved of a man getting drunk. In studies in which participants read vignettes about men or women drinking alcohol or cola in the context of a heterosexual date, women drinking alcohol are rated by participants as more sexually available and aggressive than women drinking cola, but no differences in judgments are made about the males in the vignettes. Recent studies using implicit measures instead of self-reports also find that men view women as more sexually available if they are drinking than if they are not.

    Eva H. Telzer, … Kathy T. Do, in, 2018

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    The Social Norms Approach

    Conversely, there is evidence that individuals perceive that their peers are less likely to engage in positive health behaviors, and have less favorable attitudes, in comparison to their own beliefs and the actual reported norms amongst their social group. This has included handwashing and infection control behaviors , fruit and vegetable consumption , use of condoms , attending HIV tests , and the use of sun protection . Fewer studies into the presence of misperceived or underestimations of social norms for positive health behaviors exist compared to studies investigating negative health behaviors, particularly alcohol use.

    Alongside studies into the role of social norm misperceptions on behavior, the SNA has developed into a widely implemented behavior change technique . Interventions based on the SNA aim to reduce negative and promote positive health behaviors by challenging these misperceptions of social norms . The SNA makes several assumptions about the influence of these social normative perceptions on behaviors, these are: that perceived norms are consistently associated with behaviors individuals tend to misperceive or under/overestimate their peers behaviors and attitudes that such misperceptions are associated with the increased/decreased engagement in those behaviors and interventions which correct such misperceptions should promote more positive behaviors .

    Social Norms As A Risk Factor For Infection

    Norms | Test standardisation | Psychological Testing

    The high adherence to these new social norms is particularly striking because the COVID-19 pandemic has required people to go against behaviours that were previously normative, such as being physically co-present with in-group members. Maintaining physical distance from our in-groupsâincluding friends and familyârepresents a unique challenge because people feel safe and take joy from being close to in-group members . Cruwys et al. argue that during the COVID-19 pandemic public health messages should explicitly state the risk associated with being in physical contact with those we care for most and frame the lack of physical contact as an expression of care. Thus, the norms change to keeping away from fellow group members as a way of providing support to the group.

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    Deviation From Ideal Mental Health

    Deviation from Ideal Mental Health

    Abnormality can be defined as a deviation from ideal mental health. This means that rather than defining what is abnormal, psychologists define what is normal/ideal mental health, and anything that deviates from this is regarded as abnormal.

    This requires us to decide on the characteristics we consider necessary for mental health. Jahoda defined six criteria by which mental health could be measured:

    o Positive view of the self

    o Capability for growth and development

    o Autonomy and independence

    o Accurate perception of reality

    o Positive friendships and relationships

    o Environmental mastery â able to meet the varying demands of day-to-day situations

    According to this approach, the more of these criteria are satisfied, the healthier the individual is.


    It is practically impossible for any individual to achieve all of the ideal characteristics all of the time. For example, a person might not be the âmaster of his environmentâ but be happy with his situation.

    The absence of this criterion of ideal mental health hardly indicates he is suffering from a mental disorder.


    Most definitions of psychological abnormality are devised by white, middle class men. It has been suggested that this may lead to disproportionate numbers of people from certain groups being diagnosed as “abnormal.”

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