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The anticipation of acceptance or rejection by others is of course a strong motivators of behaviors. Strength varies with how close the group is.
If an agent anticipates that a behavior will:
- generates social acceptance by one or more reference groups, then the agent is more likely to follow this behavior
- generates social rejection by one or more reference groups, then the agent is more likely to reject this behavior
Simple, yet very powerful and explaining many (especially negative) behaviors.