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Identifying Preferences, House Rules, Norms, and Absolutes

Read the definitions and examples of Preferences, House Rules, Organizational Norms, and Absolutes. In the space below each one, write in examples from your own life experience.

Preferences are personal choices that everyone has the right to make.
Examples include: Your favorite color, food, or way to relax. You cannot really say that someone’s preference is wrong. You may disagree, but neither of you is wrong.

House Rules are determined by an organization like a family. What is a rule in one family may not be rule for another family. However, the members of each family must abide by the rules of the house where they live.
Example: Curfew in house “A” is 10:00 p.m. Curfew in house “B” is 10:30. These rules are different but neither is wrong. Children in house “A” must be in by 10:00 p.m. regardless of the curfew in house “B.”

Organizational Norms are created by organizations and groups such as churches, businesses and professional associations. The organization creating a house rule may determine standards pertaining to conduct, dress, and participation or nonparticipation in activities. The organization creating a norm may also set standards for when and where these norms are in effect.

Ted Witzig, Jr., Ph.D.