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Non-normative influences

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Non normative influences are events that affect an individual but do not affect a majority of the population. These are rare and uncommon events that have an impact on the life of the individual. For example, the death of a parent in an accident is a non-normative influence on the life of the person.

As opposed to non normative influences, events that affect a majority of the population are called normative influences. For example, a pandemic that affects almost every person in society is an example of a normative effect.

Concept of nonnormative influences

Some examples of non-normative influences are:

  1. Death of a friend in a car accident.
  2. Death of a parent due to a rare disease like cancer.
  3. Unexpected divorce.
  4. Unexpected gains in stocks.

Underlying causes behind non normative influences:

While a particular non normative influence might be seen as random or as occurring due to chance it may be the case that there are predictable underlying causes behind why the event occurred. For example, unexpected gains in stocks might be thought to be a random occurrence but there might be underlying financial reasons about the state of the stock market which caused the sudden rise in the price of that stock.

In general, it might be difficult to predict non normative influences by identifying the underlying causes between them. Hence they are treated as “statistical noise” whenever we construct a statistical model. For example, if we were to construct a regression model for modelling the lifespans of individuals, things like accidents and rare terminal disease would be considered as part of the error term.

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