In my career as a researcher and professor, I’ve come across many decisions where my intuition told me that some actions are prohibited by norms. I’ve usually just obeyed these intuitions, and assumed that everyone agrees. However, I only rarely observe what others think regarding the same situations. In these rare cases, I’m often surprised to see that others don’t agree with me.
I take Hanson to be saying that we imagine nonexistent norms. These often restrict our self-interested choices.
[However, I don't understand why the meta-norm that norms should be applied reflexively implies that we see nonexistent norms, which seems orthogonal to their automaticity. I also think it would be useful to disclose what the differences of opinion are on, maybe for a couple of issues. Did someone actually think he/she violates no norms by telling mediocrities that they are brilliant?]
In your previous posts on automatic norm-following, you seemed to claim that people are especially unreflective when it comes to norm-following.
But couldn't some of the examples here be explained by ordinary human cognitive miserliness, combined with our general tendency to choose self-serving options? Someone might automatically decide that they don't need to cite lowbrow papers, partly because they're cognitive misers, and partly because it suits their ends.
That doesn't seem that different from how we behave in cases which don't involve the application of norms to the same extent. E.g., cf someone who quickly and self-servingly rejects a piece of evidence that would have refuted their own hypothesis.
There might be a fundamental difference between these kinds of cases, though; I haven't thought about it a lot.
Since it seems my previous comment was deleted for being too long, let me make just one point: it seems that you are conflating issues where there are unwritten rules with matters of professional judgement. I think it is understandable that people disagree about matters of professional judgement, such as whether blog posts should be considered to be eligible for priority in the same way that journal articles are (which I assume is what you are getting at with 9-10). But this is not the kind of thing that people have "automatic norms" reactions to as described in your previous post. And the kinds of things that people do have such reactions to, such as #8, don't seem to be the kinds of things where there is much disagreement.
I'm not sure how much disagreement there really is here. Here are my answers, let's see if anyone disagrees. Also, I think you can ask your chair or course coordinator to clarify many of these points (though not 9-14).
1. It is up to the discretion of the instructor2. To be safe one should ask the chair or course coordinator for permission before cancelling any classes (note that they may also be able to find a substitute for you), however I think in most cases it shouldn't be a problem as long as you are still able to cover all the necessary material3. The rules for determining who to give extra help or assignments to must be based on neutral criteria, and it should be possible to do well in the class without any extra help or assignments (or else they are not truly "extra"). Other than that, there is no hard limit4. It is up to the discretion of the instructor5. It's not desirable, but it is better described as "being inconsiderate of other instructors/employers who will deal with those students later" rather than "breaking the rules", and in some circumstances it could be the best possible option6. You would need some justification to completely ignore the final exam grades, such as a major error in the exam.7. In many grad classes it is expected that all students will get an A as long as they are reasonably completing the course material (and sometimes this means just showing up). It is not good to give a dishonest opinion of someone's work, regardless of the motivation.8. No (I am surprised this is even a question, people are sometimes reprimanded over much more trivial things like lecturing in pajamas)9-10. Citation is not about what influenced your work, it's about who has done work that is sufficiently related to yours that people would want to know about it in order to evaluate how novel your contribution is. (Of course, citation is also used for other purposes like justifying claims, or motivating a topic to the reader. And you can discuss what influenced your work if you want to, but this tends to be seen as a digression since it is about the mindstate of the author rather than about objective facts.) There is still a judgement call regarding what people would want to know about.
Maybe I should give an example to make clear what I mean: if you read paper or blog post X and come up with an idea for a paper, but then when you search the relevant literature it turns out that Y is the more relevant paper to cite regarding this topic, then you should cite Y not X. You can cite X if you want to as an additional relevant reference and you can even say that it's the reason you started writing the paper, but the latter remark would be treated as not particularly relevant, the relevant thing being the objective relations between the ideas.11. It depends on the wording. You can't say "X came up with idea Y" if they got it from someone else.12. If you can't justify the inclusion at all except by the referee's suggestion, they shouldn't be added13. I wouldn't know, I'm in math where this kind of thing doesn't come up14. Each paper should contain a new idea that isn't found in previous papers, but it doesn't have to be a big new idea, and the whole paper doesn't have to be about the new idea.
A lot of your questions are starting to stray from being questions about unwritten rules to being questions about professional judgement, and I think it's reasonable that people disagree on matters of professional judgement and that there isn't necessarily anyone who can give you a straight answer about them.
So, you found all these questions easy? You "know right from wrong" better than I!
Only in two do I see no serious grounds for different opinions: #6 and #7. These behaviors are directly prohibited by the norm against lying.
I probably agree that when it comes to how to follow these kinds of norms, "most people decide for themselves without much thought or discussion, assuming incorrectly that relevant norms are obvious enough that everyone else agrees".
In your previous posts on automatic norm-following, you seemed to claim that people are especially unreflective when it comes to norm-following. That is, they are more unreflective and automatic than they are regarding other judgements and decisions.
But couldn't some of the examples here be explained by ordinary human cognitive miserliness, combined with our general tendency to choose self-serving options? That is, someone might automatically decide that they don't need to cite lowbrow papers, partly because they're cognitive misers, and partly because it suits their ends.
Even if they don't think everyone agrees, they presume that enough others agree that they should follow the norm they see.
Your last sentence seems both true but (I think perhaps) not framed quite correctly: "Most people decide for themselves without much thought or discussion, assuming incorrectly that relevant norms are obvious enough that everyone else agrees."
If you ask people about themselves, agree you'll get answer above. But if you ask people about others from their in-group I'm less sure what % will say norms are obvious. Depends on the norm. I think the first few in your list above 1-3 may fall into that bucket. Or perhaps going to church as a norm as well (depending on group). Instead they may say they do x in the situation, and by doing x they induce others to be good and follow the same norm. Even if it's not as obvious to others as to their enlightened selves. I suspect some group of norms for which minor violation is not that big a deal fall into this bucket. Unsure if you'd even disagree with this nuance, since agree with your main point.
A somewhat related thought. I assume you're also implying norms become more self enforcing given this innate psychology. That is, the tendency to march step to norms is greater because everyone's elephant in the brain is ignoring those who are not sure of how to apply unsettled norms, allowing those who are confused to move towards lockstep without visible contention. (about halfway through your elephant in brain book now, so top of mind).
This reminds me of the first time I went camping as an adult, at a public campground with marked (and nearly-adjacent) campsites. As we were camping with hammocks instead of tents, and there were no on-site showers, I wanted to know whether changing clothes outdoors was accepted behavior or a norm-violation.
There didn't seem to be any posted rules, and an internet search revealed people expressing strong but differing opinions about what was obviously okay, but no evidence whatsoever that there was an actual norm, or the sort of community that could plausibly have norms, about such things.
An em is placed in a situation where it will quickly loose its use and thus be obliged to commit suicide or be killed by the withholding of sustaining resources- i.e.: being spawned from a leisure em and worked for an em day, or placed in a discussion with an em leader before a vote so to relay confidential information back to the voter em.
Is there any context/situation where that would be unethical?