[Source: Medical News Today]
We all know that, for the most part, it’s wrong to kill other people, it’s inappropriate to wear jeans to bed, and we shouldn’t ignore people when they are talking to us. We know these things because we’re bonded to others through social norms – we tend to do things the same way people around us do them and, most importantly, the way in which they expect us to do them.
Social norms act as the glue that helps to govern social institutions and hold humans societies together, but how do we acquire these norms in the first place?
In a new article published in the August 2012 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers Marco Schmidt and Michael Tomasello of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology aim to get a better understanding of this important ‘social glue’ by reviewing research on children’s enforcement of social norms.