Social chemistry 101: Learning to reason about social and moral norms

Maxwell Forbes, Jena D. Hwang, Vered Shwartz, Maarten Sap, Yejin Choi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social norms-the unspoken commonsense rules about acceptable social behavior-are crucial in understanding the underlying causes and intents of people's actions in narratives. For example, underlying an action such as “wanting to call cops on my neighbor” are social norms that inform our conduct, such as “It is expected that you report crimes.” We present SOCIAL CHEMISTRY, a new conceptual formalism to study people's everyday social norms and moral judgments over a rich spectrum of real life situations described in natural language. We introduce SOCIAL-CHEM-101, a large-scale corpus that catalogs 292k rules-of-thumb such as “It is rude to run a blender at 5am” as the basic conceptual units. Each rule-of-thumb is further broken down with 12 different dimensions of people's judgments, including social judgments of good and bad, moral foundations, expected cultural pressure, and assumed legality, which together amount to over 4.5 million annotations of categorical labels and free-text descriptions. Comprehensive empirical results based on state-of-the-art neural models demonstrate that computational modeling of social norms is a promising research direction. Our model framework, NEURAL NORM TRANSFORMER, learns and generalizes SOCIAL-CHEM-101 to successfully reason about previously unseen situations, generating relevant (and potentially novel) attribute-aware social rules-of-thumb.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEMNLP 2020 - 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages653-670
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781952148606
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 16 Nov 202020 Nov 2020

Publication series

NameEMNLP 2020 - 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference

Conference

Conference2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period16/11/2020/11/20

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Association for Computational Linguistics

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