- The social dynamics of breaking the rules: antecedents and consequences of norm-violating behavior
- Current Opinion in Psychology
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Norms uphold the social order by guiding behavior without the force of laws. Accordingly, behaviors that violate norms pose a potential threat to societies. We review research on the antecedents and consequences of norm-violating behavior. Regarding antecedents, we distinguish between individual-level factors such as power and (lack of) respect for norms, and social factors such as the behavior of relevant others. Regarding consequences, we identify intrapersonal effects of norm violations on the transgressor, including feelings of guilt and shame, and interpersonal effects of norm violations on others, including neurophysiological responses, affective reactions, social judgments, and behavioral tendencies (e.g., sanctioning, status conferral). We discuss the possibility of self-perpetuating versus self-defeating norm-violation cycles and outline a theoretical framework to guide future research.
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