Social Norm Spreading in Real and Virtual Environments: Pro-social Versus Pro-self Norm

  • Andrea GuazziniEmail author
  • Sara Panerati
  • Viola Filindassi
  • Stefania Collodi
  • Zoran Levnajic
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11938)


It is a fact that technologies do not have fixed effects on people. Some researches show how phenomena such as social influence and conformity appear increasingly multiform and complex, in particular, because people engage more and more in web interactions. The study of conformity in the online environment has highlighted how, to model these dynamics, it is necessary to consider the peculiarities of such environment, since it presents characteristics that differentiate its interactions from the face-to-face ones. Therefore, this research aims at investigating whether and how the type of environment influences the level of conformity to different types of local norms shown to the experimental subjects during a bargaining web-based game. The evidence of the research, conducted on 484 participants, have suggested that there are different psychological processes involved in the conformity phenomenon depending on these factors. The results are discussed in the light of Self-categorization theory, as well as the SIDE model, and illustrate the relevance of considering these processes and their characteristics to promote the implementation of more efficient (and effective) online environments.


Social dynamics online Conformity Local norms spreading Ultimatum Game SIDE model 



We wish to thank Dr. Silvia Grasso for her invaluable assistance in the management of the experiment.


This research received no external funding.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Study of Complex Dynamics, CSDC, and Department of Education, Literatures, Interculture, Languages, and PsychologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Department of Education, Literatures, Interculture, Languages, and PsychologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  3. 3.University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Complex Systems and Data Science LabFaculty of Information Studies in Novo MestoNovo MestoSlovenia

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