IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/cup/apsrev/v80y1986i04p1095-1111_18.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

An Evolutionary Approach to Norms

Author

Listed:
  • Axelrod, Robert

Abstract

Norms provide a powerful mechanism for regulating conflict in groups, even when there are more than two people and no central authority. This paper investigates the emergence and stability of behavioral norms in the context of a game played by people of limited rationality. The dynamics of this new norms game are analyzed with a computer simulation based upon the evolutionary principle that strategies shown to be relatively effective will be used more in the future than less effective strategies. The results show the conditions under which norms can evolve and prove stable. One interesting possibility is the employment of metanorms, the willingness to punish someone who did not enforce a norm. Many historical examples of domestic and international norms are used to illustrate the wide variety of mechanisms that can support norms, including metanorms, dominance, internalization, deterrence, social proof, membership in groups, law, and reputation.

Suggested Citation

  • Axelrod, Robert, 1986. "An Evolutionary Approach to Norms," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1095-1111, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:04:p:1095-1111_18
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S0003055400185016/type/journal_article
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:04:p:1095-1111_18. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: https://www.cambridge.org/psr .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.