Volume 33 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 16-25
This study investigated factors leading to normative behavior, focusing on residential mobility and reputation estimation. As people in societies with high levels of residential mobility have many chances to build new relationships, it is important for them to establish positive reputations and extend their human resources. However, the incentive to develop a positive reputation may vary depending on the needs and abilities of those engaged in relationship-building. We hypothesized that in societies with high levels of residential mobility, only those who need to build and are capable of building new relationships would follow social norms, when they think it will help to earn a positive reputation from others. On the other hand, people in societies with low levels of residential mobility have few opportunities to build new relationships and thus they may try to avoid negative reputations in order to maintain their current relationships. We hypothesized that in societies with low levels of residential mobility, people would overestimate the possibility of acquiring negative reputations when they deviate from social norms, and they would therefore follow the norms to avoid ending up with negative reputations. The hypotheses were supported by our online survey, in which we focused on normative aspects of participation in community activities.