Events / MIRA-Open talk: Cristina Bicchieri

MIRA-Open talk: Cristina Bicchieri

February 19, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

online offering

Cristina Bicchieri, University of Pennsylvania


Norm Nudging and Social Inferences

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Abstract: ┬áNorms and nudges are both popular types of interventions. Recent years have seen the rise of `norm-nudges’ – nudges whose mechanism of action relies on social norms, providing or eliciting social expectations. Norm-nudges can be powerful interventions, but they can easily fail to be effective and can even backfire unless they are designed with care. I highlight important considerations when designing norm-nudges, discuss a general model of social behavior based on expectations and conditional preferences and present the results of several experiments where norm-nudging can backfire, and ways to avoid these negative outcomes.


Cristina Bicchieri is the S. J. Patterson Harvie Professor of Social Studies and Comparative Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program, the Behavioral Ethics Lab, The Penn Social Norms Group, and The Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics. She is a world authority on the measurement of collective behaviors, and has consulted with the UNICEF Child Protection Section, the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, the Gates Foundation, BBC Media and many other groups on behavioral measurement and change. She was knighted by the Italian government in 2007, was made Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College at Cambridge University and received the Pufendorf Medal in Sweden in 2015. The author of more than 100 articles and 7 books, including Rationality and Coordination, The Logic of Strategy, The Dynamics of Norms, and Knowledge, Belief, and Strategic Interaction, she has been a fellow at Harvard, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, the London School of Economics (Leverhulme Trust), and the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Jerusalem. Her latest books are The Grammar of Society:  The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms (2006) and Norms in the Wild: How to Diagnose, Measure and Change Social Norms (2016).