Formal institutions can help address mayor issues, in the form of laws and treaties, but cannot always enforce the desired outcomes. A great deal of power lies in informal institutions, like social norms, but can formal institutions help in bending these in the right direction? Social norms are different per group (discipline, economy, etc.), and can be defined as predominant behaviour patterns within their context, stabilized by social feedback and supported by the corresponding acceptable actions. Mechanisms behind a change from an undesirable social norm to a desirable social norm differ, but are usually related to conformity and/or convenience. To do as others do is the strongest factor, thus creating tipping points in social norm change. Policy can play a hand in this by making choices more visible and/or creating incentives/consequences. In this manner policy can help provide reasons for people to change their expectations, which studies have shown plays a crucial role in how people behave. Furthermore, policies with material incentives signal that a majority finds these incentives important and/or expects certain behaviours. Next to these mechanisms behaviours spread best if it benefits the individual, is visual, easily copied, and modelled by a socially infectious group. Interestingly these mechanisms and social norms also influence political feasibility, therefore possibly limiting the abilities of policy-makers, creating either a vicious or a virtuous circle....
Summaries per article with Consumer and economic psychology at University of Groningen 16/17
Table of content
- Social norms as solutions
- Spent Resources - Self-Regulatory Resource
Introduction & Literature
Current technologies stimulate around the clock consumerism, making it difficult to resist impulses to buy things right away, and making it so situational forces can largely govern purchasing behaviour. Research has suggested that this has changed the rate and frequency of impulsive buying.