Unruly Rules

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(11), 861–863. Reviews the book, Social Rules and Social Behaviour edited by Peter Collett (1977). Collett provides a sensible introduction to some central notions such as rules versus laws, constitutive versus regulative rules, rule-fitting versus rule-guided behavior, and four possible criteria for the detection of rule operation. He then applies these notions in a thoughtful discussion of a four-fold table engendered by persons knowing or not knowing the rule and behaving in accord or not in accord with the rule. He concludes that it is very difficult to say when a rule has been followed (or broken). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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