1932

Abstract

All human societies are permeated by collectively shared entities that govern daily social interactions and promote coordination and cooperation: norms. While the study of norm development is not new to developmental psychology, it has only recently been the target of an interdisciplinary wave of research using new methodologies and (often) complementary theoretical accounts to describe and explain the origins and potentially species-unique aspects of human norm psychology. Here we review recent developmental research showing that young children swiftly acquire and infer norms in a variety of social contexts. Moreover, children actively enforce these norms, even as unaffected bystanders, when third parties do things the wrong way. This research suggests that the foundations of human norm psychology can be found in early childhood. Deeper insights into the ontogenetic roots of norm psychology may contribute to understanding the evolutionary emergence of human cooperation and its maintenance in the contemporary world.

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2023-12-11
2024-06-25
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