Prescriptive Social Norms

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Social norms have been used as a way for society to get individuals to conform to what it sees as correct behavior. These correct behaviors are taught and adopted through several interactions one being social control. Social control is the positive or negative reaction that one gets as a result of performing a behavior that either deviates or confirms to social norms. Two types of social norms, descriptive and prescriptive, have been seen to have an influence on social control. Thus, the researchers in this article sought to study how norms influence social control. They had 5 hypotheses in all. Researchers predicted that the more deviant a behavior is from the social norm the more likely participants will exhibit social control, the more often…show more content…
Results for comparison of behaviors were done through multi-level analysis of the variables showed the presence of a strong connection between prescriptive and social control. It was seen that mode deviant behaviors elicited the showing of social control by participants. Regression of descriptive and prescriptive norms showed a connection between them that concluded that more common behaviors are seen to be less deviant. In regards to hypothesis 3, descriptive norms did have a relationship with social control however the relationship disappeared in the presence of prescriptive norms. Although data is correlational, a causal relationship cannot be confirmed. Through individual comparisons, researchers showed the presence of a main effect that was significant on social control from prescriptive norms which also agreed with hypothesis 1. However, they were not able to show that the relationship between social control and prescriptive norms was different across countries. Individualism was found to have a significant effect and participants from countries with a high individualistic score were less likely to elicit social control than participants from collectivistic countries. The results from this study brought several contributions this field. It was one of the first to look at behaviors to find a relationship between prescriptive and descriptive norms. This research showed that there was a negative relationship between prescriptive and descriptive norms. It also provided a list of behaviors and their possible reactions based on the country that is being studied which can be helpful in further research. However, as with all research that requires participants to self-report, participants may show a bias and or attempt to show themselves in a positive light that may affect

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