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Norms

Generally, group norms can be defined as the unspoken rules or standards that guide a group and define acceptable and unacceptable behavior by group members. They derive from the implicit expectations of members, from the implicit and explicit direction of leaders, and from the influence of members. Norms appear early in the life of a group and are often difficult to change. They soon become accepted as the legitimate procedures of the group and come to regulate group performance. Norms come to delineate what any specific member of a group may or may not do. Not only do norms regulate behavior, however, but they also define how people should feel and even influence how people think. Norms are enforced through sanctions and rewards that are ...

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