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Social Norms

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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PSYCHOLOGY 260
SHORT WRITING ASSIGNMENT #3

SOCIAL NORMS

In society today, many people act accordingly to social norms which is generally “implicit or explicit rules a group has for acceptable behaviours” (Aronson, Wilson, Fehr, Akert, 2013). If an individual acts defiantly towards expected behaviours, most of the other people would tend to isolate or reject that individual. In part of my violation of the social norm, I had worn flip-flops with socks the entire Thursday out in public to interpret people’s reactions.
This social norm is referred to a descriptive norm, considering that this “behaviour is approved or disapproved of by others” (Aronson et al. 2013). This day was like any other regular Vancouver day, it consisted of rain. It became abundantly clear that the social norm for that day would require an individual to have shoes on. Besides the social context that it is generally uncomfortable walking with your socks drenched in water, some people believe that wearing flip-flops with socks altogether is despicable, and unacceptable social behaviour. As I walk through the school, I began to notice a lot more people looked at me when I walked by, compared to the usual nil before. To my senses, these stares felt nothing like acceptance, but felt more related to exclusion. This was understandable, as groups tend to use “social exclusion as effective ways to enforce normative behaviour” (Whitson, Wang, Kim, Cao, Scrimpshire, 2013). It wasn’t until after school, that I encountered the consequences of violating a social norm and the resistance of conforming to the expected norm. I began socializing with a group of friends, and I couldn’t help noticing that others kept distant from me and some even avoided having a conversation with me. This type of exclusion from my peers created a need to conform normatively, which is the essence of normative social...

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