Working paper

Proximate and ultimate drivers of norms and norm change

Ingela Alger, Sergey Gavrilets, and Patrick Durkee


We describe a formal model of norm psychology that can be applied to better un-derstand norm change. The model integrates several proximate drivers of normative behavior: beliefs and preferences about a) material payoffs, b) personal norms, c) peer disapproval, d) conformity, and e) authority compliance. Additionally, we review inter-disciplinary research on ultimate foundations of these proximate drivers of normative behavior. Finally, we discuss opportunities for integration between the proposed formal framework and several psychological sub-fields.


ocial norms, preferences, beliefs, evolutionary foundations, ultimate drivers, proximate drivers, interdisciplinary research;

See also

Published in

IAST Working Paper, n. 24-163, June 2024