Conventional Standards: What They Are And 51 Examples

The conventional rules are a special kind of laws that have their origin in the agreements established by a social group. For example, it is considered a conventionally established norm to say thank you if someone else has done a favor. Another example of this type of rule is waiting for everyone to be seated at the table before starting to eat.

Conventional norms are purely social, that is, they are norms created by the members of a society and which must be respected by themselves without being detailed or consigned in a legal document.

tipping conventional rules

In this sense, they differ from the laws or legal norms approved by the state. These types of norms are linked to morality and common sense of people.

For example, the articles of an association or group of people are considered conventional norms derived from the agreements reached by the people who make up those groups.

Although they are not consigned in a legal document, compliance with conventional norms is mandatory for all members of a group, since their objective is to regulate human behavior linked to a specific activity or context.

This is how its compliance is internalized in the code of conduct of each of the members of a group.

What are conventional standards?

Conventional norms are rules of behavior considered valid within a group or society.

People who do not follow these rules may be discriminated against or suffer specific consequences outside of legal regulations. Its structure can vary from one context or situation to another and even change over time.



This means that they are rules created by a person outside of whom the rule is addressed. On the other hand, it is a rule imposed against the autonomy and will of the addressee, which means that he cannot legislate himself.


Conventional standards only consider the way in which the recipient externally adapts to compliance.

It does not take into account the conviction of the addressee for the execution of the norm, simply worry that it complies fully in the way it was established.


This means that the state cannot apply its public force mechanisms to punish the person who violates the norm.

For this reason, the conventional norms are fulfilled spontaneously and there is no judicial way to impose their compliance by the addressee.

There are no penalties for non-compliance, they simply will not be legal.


This means that the rules of coexistence are only empowered to be imposed as obligations, without being able to force or require compliance by the recipient.


Conventional rules vary from one context to another, becoming more rigid or more flexible. In this way, the rules established inside a bar may differ completely in their structure from those used inside a stadium.

For this reason, it can be concluded that conventional norms are different in each area in which a person travels and they are part of the social life of all individuals.

Rules in public

  • Shaking hands in greeting or when meeting another individual.
  • Have direct eye contact with the interlocutor.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation.
  • Unless a space is packed with people, avoid immediately sitting next to another individual in a theater.
  • Not standing close enough to another individual to touch their shoulders or hips.
  • Do not swear during polite conversations.
  • Don’t put your fingers up your nose.
  • Wear clothing, preferably similar in style to what others wear.
  • Say please and thank you”.
  • Be nice to the elderly, open the door and give them a seat.
  • Take the place at the end of the line.
  • Do not invade an individual’s personal space
  • When visiting someone else’s home, ask permission to perform certain activities such as using the bathroom.
  • Don’t be promiscuous.
  • Avoid burping or peer in public.
  • Flush in the bathroom
  • When you have a meeting and are going to be late, you should call the other individual to let them know about the news.

Rules when talking on the phone

  • Say hello when answering and saying goodbye before hanging up a call.
  • Reply to text and voice messages.
  • Do not refuse to attend a message.
  • Don’t lie to someone else if you accidentally called their number and were wrong.
  • Not telling salespeople that you will call them back.
  • Don’t act like it’s the mailbox.

Rules during dinner

  • Leave a tip for the waiter.
  • Chew with your mouth closed.
  • Chew the food without making a lot of noise.
  • Do not take food out of your mouth.
  • Do not speak with food in your mouth.
  • Do not wear casual or sports clothing during a formal dinner.
  • Do not eat soup with a fork.
  • Do not regurgitate.
  • Eat without rush.
  • Do not eat by hand, unless the food requires it.
  • Do not take food from someone else’s plate. In case the right is granted, use your own cutlery to do so.
  • Order only the foods that are listed on the menu.

Rules in an elevator

  • Nod or wave if there are more people in the elevator before getting on.
  • Enter the elevator from the front.
  • Do not press additional buttons, only the one for the floor you are going to.
  • Do not change from one elevator to another.
  • If there is enough space, stand at a safe distance from other people.
  • Do not say out loud “I’ll wait for the next one” when there is only one individual inside the elevator.

Rules in the classroom

  • Never use a cell phone.
  • Don’t listen to music.
  • If places are assigned, don’t take someone else’s place.
  • Don’t stare at the teacher.
  • Come to class prepared and with all the materials you will need.
  • Do not copy from a partner’s material.
  • Get to class early.
  • Participate in the questions and discussions that may arise during class.
  • Be silent when the teacher requires it.
  • Address the teacher in a respectful manner.

Themes of interest

Social norms .

Legal norms .

Moral norms .

Religious rules .

Rules of school coexistence .


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  6. Sharma, A., & Malhotra, D. (2007). Personality And Social Norms. New Dehli: Concept Publishing Company.

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