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Book cover: Advances in Group Processes

Advances in Group Processes

ISSN: 0882-6145
Series editor(s): Shane R. Thye and Edward Lawler

Subject Area: Sociology and Public Policy

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Metanorm expectations: Determining what to sanction

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Title:Metanorm expectations: Determining what to sanction
Author(s):Christine Horne, Chien-Fei Chen, Justin Berg, Katie Evermann-Druffel
Volume:26 Editor(s): Shane R. Thye, Edward J. Lawler ISBN: 978-1-84855-572-3 eISBN: 978-1-84855-573-0
Citation:Christine Horne, Chien-Fei Chen, Justin Berg, Katie Evermann-Druffel (2009), Metanorm expectations: Determining what to sanction, in Shane R. Thye, Edward J. Lawler (ed.) Altruism and Prosocial Behavior in Groups (Advances in Group Processes, Volume 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.199-223
DOI:10.1108/S0882-6145(2009)0000026011 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item
Abstract:Instrumental approaches to norms treat their enforcement as problematic and suggest that self-interested actors are unlikely to sanction. We suggest an alternative conceptualization of the norm enforcement problem. Research shows that social rewards can offset sanctioning costs, thereby encouraging enforcement. The issue then becomes how individuals determine what to sanction. We suggest that the typicality of behavior may provide a clue. We identify conditions under which atypical behavior may be punished. Consistent with existing instrumental approaches, we find that atypical behavior is sanctioned if it detracts from group welfare. We also find evidence pointing to the importance of a non-instrumental factor – perceptions of a behavior's social desirability.

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