With this in mind, you will probably continue to look for a waste bin. Even when we are not in the company of others, we can feel obliged to keep to certain standards of behaviour. Simply thinking about parents or a partner, for example, is enough to remind us how we should behave. These are the findings of research carried out by Janneke Joly. She will receive her PhD on 27 March 2008 at the University of Groningen.
It would appear to be self-evident that people’s behaviour is influenced by generally accepted social norms, yet this is not the case. Even when people are aware of these norms, they do not always comply with them. Why is this? Previous research has shown that norms influence behaviour primarily when they are temporarily made more accessible in our memory. It is not something that happens automatically. On the basis of her research, Joly concluded that our awareness of norms is increased in ‘humanized contexts’. In other words, we are prompted by others to attach importance to a particular norm at a particular moment. According to Joly, this happens in three ways.Physical presence
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