Agents with Dynamic Social Norms

  • Samaneh HeidariEmail author
  • Nanda Wijermans
  • Frank Dignum
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12025)


Social norms are important as societal agreements of acceptable behavior. They can be seen as flexible, but stable constraints on individual behavior. However, social norms themselves are not completely static. Norms emerge from dynamic environments and changing agent populations. They adapt and in the end also get abrogated. Although norm emergence has received attention in the literature, its focus is mainly describing the rise of new norms based on individual preferences and punishments on violations. This explanation works for environments where personal preferences are stable and known. In this paper, we argue that values are the stable concepts that allow for explaining norm change in situations where agents can move between social groups in a dynamic environment (as is the case in most realistic social simulations for policy support). Values thus reflect the stable concept that those are shared between the agents of a group and can direct norm emergence, adaptation, and abrogation. We present the norm framework that enables describing and modeling value and situation based norm change and demonstrate its potential application using a simple example.


Social norm Social norm dynamics Norm framework Value based norms Personal values 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Umeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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