Journal article

Norm Talk and Human Cooperation: Can We Talk Ourselves Into Cooperation?

Daniel B Shank, Yoshihisa Kashima, Kim Peters, Yang Li, Garry Robins, Michael Kirley

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY | AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC | Published : 2019

Abstract

Norm talk is verbal communication that explicitly states or implicitly implies a social norm. To investigate its ability to shape cultural dynamics, 2 types of norm talk were examined: injunction, which explicitly states what should be done, and gossip, which implies a norm by stating an action approved or disapproved of by the communicator. In 2 experiments, participants engaged in norm talk in repeated public goods games. Norm talk was found to help sustain cooperation relative to the control condition; immediately after every norm talk opportunity, cooperation spiked, followed by a gradual decline. Despite the macrolevel uniformity in their effects on cooperation, evidence suggests differ..

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