Social norms and human normative psychology

Social Philosophy and Policy 35 (1):54-76 (2018)
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Our primary aim in this paper is to sketch a cognitive evolutionary approach for developing explanations of social change that is anchored on the psychological mechanisms underlying normative cognition and the transmission of social norms. We throw the relevant features of this approach into relief by comparing it with the self-fulfilling social expectations account developed by Bicchieri and colleagues. After describing both accounts, we argue that the two approaches are largely compatible, but that the cognitive evolutionary approach is well- suited to encompass much of the social expectations view, whose focus on a narrow range of norms comes at the expense of the breadth the cognitive evolutionary approach can provide.

Author Profiles

Daniel Kelly
Purdue University
Taylor Davis
Purdue University


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