Norms represent a most salient feature of social organization, but no common definition is available as yet, and there is a major dichotomy in the nature of norms between what is called the deontic and the conventionalist traditions; moreover, the link between norms and sanctions is often unclear. The work presented in this volume aims to contribute to advances at the conceptual, modeling, theoretical, and operational treatment of norms. In this book, a general notion of norms as behaviors spreading over a society of agents—on condition that the corresponding prescriptions and mental representations spread as well—is proposed. A dynamic model of norms will be presented, and an operational, simulation-based version of this model will be implemented and tested by means of agent-based simulations where agents are equipped with a cognitively rich architecture (EMIL-A). Advances in the theory of norms will be shown to derive from the operational modeling of their two-way dynamics, highlighting the need for the two complementary concepts of emergence and immergence.
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