I propose that norms regulate behaviors that negatively impact an individual's survival and reproduction. But because monitoring and enforcing of norms can be costly, individuals should be selective about which norms they police and under what circumstances they should do so. Two studies tested this idea by experimentally activating fitness-relevant motives and having participants answer questions about the policing of norms. The first study examined a norm prescribing respect for status and another proscribing sexual coercion.
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