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Reciprocity Norm

Definition

Reciprocity norm is the rule of human interaction that says people need to reciprocate the action of another person. Simply, this means that when a person is given a gift (which can take any number of forms) by another, the person must repay the gift. Every investigated society has a version of the reciprocity norm. The reciprocity norm has also been termed a web of indebtedness by cultural anthropologists.

The reciprocity norm's presence in every investigated society points to its importance and function. The reciprocity norm has many benefits for society, such as reciprocal altruism. There are also important sanctions for those who do not follow the norm in its prescribed mannerisms (which can vary from society to society). It is important that one is aware ...

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