A Framework for the Psychology of Norms

Chandra Sekhar Sripada and Stephen Stich

in Collected Papers, Volume 2

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199733477
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949823 | DOI:
A Framework for the Psychology of Norms

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This chapter offers an account of the psychological mechanisms and processes underlying norms that integrate what is known and can serve as a framework for future research. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 1 offers a preliminary account of what norms are. Sections 2 and 3 assemble an array of facts about norms and the psychology that makes them possible, drawn from a variety of disciplines. Though the distinction is not a sharp one, Section 2 focuses on social level facts, while Section 3 focuses on how norms affect individuals. Section 4 provides a tentative hypothesis about the innate psychological architecture subserving the acquisition and implementation of norms, and explains why an architecture like the one proposed can explain many of the facts assembled in Sections 2 and 3. Section 5 focuses on open questions—important issues about the cognitive science of norms that the account in Section 4 does not address.

Keywords: norms; psychological mechanisms; psychological processes; psychology; cognitive science

Chapter.  12578 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy

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