How Do Social Norms and Expectations About Others Influence Individual Behavior?

A Quantum Model of Self/Other-Perspective Interaction in Strategic Decision-Making
  • Jakub TesarEmail author


Social norms can be understood as the grammar of social interaction. Like grammar in speech, they specify what is acceptable in a given context (Bicchieri in The grammar of society: the nature and dynamics of social norms, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2006). But what are the specific rules that direct human compliance with the norm? This paper presents a quantitative model of self- and the other-perspective interaction based on a ‘quantum model of decision-making’, which can explain some of the ‘fallacies’ of the classical model of strategic choice. By (re)connecting two fields of social science research—norms compliance, and strategic decision-making—we aim to show how the novel quantum approach to the later can advance our understanding of the former. From the cacophony of different quantum models, we distill the minimal structure necessary to account for the known dynamics between the expectations and decisions of an actor. This model was designed for the strategic interaction of two players and successfully tested in the case of the one-shot Prisoners’ Dilemma game. Quantum models offer a new conceptual framework for examining the interaction between self- and other-perspective in the process of social interaction which enables us to specify how social norms influence individual behavior.


Social norms Quantum model of decision-making Agent-structure problem 



The analysis is the outcome of the projects “Quantum Theory of International Relations” (GAUK 904414), and “Human-Machine Nexus and Its Implications for International Order” (UNCE/HUM/037) supported by the Charles University Grant Agency.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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