How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit.
Failure to stick to the rules can result in severe punishments, the most feared of which is exclusion from the group. A common rule is that the some norms must frequently be displayed; neutrality is seldom an option.
Other norms include:
Norms are often transmitted by non-verbal behavior, for example with 'dirty looks' when people act outside the norms. They may also be transmitted through stories, rituals and role-model behavior.
A common group norm amongst academics is that dress is casual (with the underlying implication that what goes on in the mind is more important than what goes on the body).
Think up a rule. When other people transgress it, frown. When they follow it smile. Before long they’ll get the point and you’ll be smiling all of the time.
Identify the rules that other people are putting on you as a condition for being in their group. Do you really want to follow these rules? Are there any which are particularly irksome? Can you lead a revolution? Is it really worth putting up with these, or is leaving the group a better option?