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This theory is based on an idea called “Broken Window Theory” (BWT) which basically says that disorder triggers more disorder and crime. The logic behind the original idea says: “if a lot of people are doing this, it’s probably a wise thing to do.”
Injunctive_norms provide information about what behavior is most appropriate in a situation. For example, it is commonly agreed upon that littering is bad (and illegal)—so it is an “injunctive norm” to not litter.
Descriptive_norms provide information about what behavior is most common in in a given situation. For example, seeing lots of litter shows that, in this time and place, it is common for people to litter. Here, it is a “descriptive norm” to litter.
Keizer, Lindenberg, and Steg (2008) Science 322, pp. 1681.