Social norms are often the unspoken rules of a group.
Without social norms, there would have been no normal standardized lifestyle, and human society would not have worked the way it actually does. Human beings would have more abstract in their behavior with many more choices for themselves.
Society shapes human behavior based on these beliefs through an informal and formal structure that are rewarding or punishing.
The way an individual responds to a situation or stimuli depends upon many social factors.
These are as follows:
- Interpersonal relationships
School, college, workplace or social events are the places where one gets numerous opportunities to meet and interact with new people. These are an interpersonal relationship which plays a vital role in developing human behavior. Interpersonal relationships can be a formal commitment, partnerships or an informal interaction like interference, love, friendship etc.
Research shows that there are several stages of interpersonal development such as:
- Build up
- Group Behavior
Have you ever noticed that individuals behave quite differently in groups than their regular routines?
Group exercises impose expectations that make the behavior more predictable and each member of the group to functions proactively and retain its identity.
On the flip side, when the responsibility of success or failure is distributed in groups, most of the people take the process lightly and ultimately hinders the total productivity. This is called social loafing.
As explained by social psychologist Robert Zajonc, if a task is easy and one performs it very well, then the presence of others will boost his performance. On the other hand, if the task challenges your abilities, it is more likely that a group competition will cause social loafing”.
- Social exchange in relationships
Do you know why you have lost many of your childhood friends?
Actually, human beings are self-centered, not at all concerned about equality.
It is the natural behavior trait of human beings to extract maximum benefit.
According to Social Exchange Theory; the relationships people choose to create or maintain, are the ones that can maximize their rewards and minimize their costs.
However, in these short term or long term relationships; there is an exchange of ideas, thoughts, hobbies, and skills etc. that have a long-lasting effect on our behaviors.
- Culture and belief
When one culture conflicts with individual opinions, a person responds in a way that he or she agrees with the perceived social norms. It is because he or she does not want to disappoint the near and dear ones, who expect them to be on par with the requirements.
Such circumstances create an imbalance in ones, and they become illogical due to perceived social influence.
- Genetic factors
Scientists are of the opinion that genetic factors develop behavior.
Few argue that social expectation drives the behavior of an individual while others emphasise the fact that individual expression is unique and self-introspected.
Human beings accept behavioral traits subconsciously.
However, whatever, the situation may be, it is important to note that individuals’ behaviors are not stone. It can be developed, changed and improved through perseverance!