Understanding Compliance Differences between Legal and Social Norms: The Case of Smoking Ban

  • Francien Dechesne
  • Virginia Dignum
  • Yao-Hua Tan
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7068)


The values shared within a society influence the (social) behaviour of the agents in that society. This connection goes through implicit and explicit norms. Agents act in situations where different, possibly conflicting, norms are applicable. In the case of a norm conflict, an agent will decide to comply with one or more of the applicable norms, while violating others. Our interest is how the type of the norms may play a role in such decision, and take the chosen behaviour of an agent to depend on a personal preference order on the norm types.

We distinguish three different types of norms: legal norms, social norms and private norms. We use the introduction of the law prohibiting smoking in cafes as illustration: we present a simulation of this situation involving agents’ preferences over different norm types. The results of this simulation are used for an explorative a model for normative reasoning based on norm types. We discuss a possible connection between the composition of a society in terms of these profiles and its culture and the relevance of the model with respect to value sensitive design of socio-technological systems.


Social Norm Legal Norm Norm Type Sensitive Design Norm Compliance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francien Dechesne
    • 1
  • Virginia Dignum
    • 2
  • Yao-Hua Tan
    • 2
  1. 1.Philosophy – Department of Technology, Policy and ManagementDelft University of TechnologyThe Netherlands
  2. 2.ICT – Department of Technology, Policy and ManagementDelft University of TechnologyThe Netherlands

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