Rules are pervasive in human experience. They define much of our public life and reach extensively into our private relationships. The institutions within which we carry on our daily lives are both sources and enforcers of rules. Family, place of worship, school, workplace are all settings in which rules structure and compel the behavior of participants. But rules are not only pervasive; they are largely successful. Much of the time we obey them without thinking because we have learned to do so and our behavioral routines require it. It is seldom necessary to use force, although invoking authority is common. Distinctions are necessary in order to understand rule-governed behavior, however, because compliance does vary considerably across both individuals and situations. Some rules are self-imposed or voluntarily agreed to, whereas others are promulgated and enforced by governmental authority. And despite the efficacy of rules for most of us some individuals seem impervious to their power.
KeywordsNatural Setting Social Learning Theory Behavioral Mechanism Civil Disobedience Governmental Authority
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