Experimental evidence for the preventive effect of ignorance
- The preventive effect of ignorance is a hypothesis about the stability of norms suggested by Heinrich Popitz (1968). This hypothesis claims that the numbers of unknown cases causes norm compliance. Thus, if the actual extent of norm violations were known, the normative system would deteriorate. If all norm violations were sanctioned, the normative system would collapse. By means of a simple laboratory experiment, we investigate whether the revelation of the dark figure actually triggers an increasing rate of norm violations.
- Zeitschrift fur Soziologie
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