Normative Expectations and Personal Normative Beliefs

Summary of Week 2 of Social Norms, Social Change I (Coursera – University of Pennsylvania & UNICEF)

Normative Expectations

Besides empirical expectations, the second type of social expectation is expectations of what people think we should do. It is a second-order belief that are often paired with an expectation of a positive or negative sanction (e.g. shaming). Depending on the circumstances, different people will matter to our decisions. Or, they may not matter because we do not care. For instance, normative expectations do not matter for customs, descriptive norms and moral norms.

Personal normative beliefs

Personal normative beliefs are what I think I should, or people in general, should do. Normative beliefs overlap with normative expectations that the lecturer (Bicchieri) states that while normative beliefs matter to choice, normative expectations carry more weight.

Bicchieri also brings up the measurement of attitudes in surveys. Attitudes are very wide (i.e. personal normative beliefs is a narrower category) and just measuring attitudes might not provide a clear understanding of underlying beliefs and expectations. Thus she recommends making a clearer distinction in surveys.



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