Our Current Projects

The Longitudinal Evaluation of Network and Norms Study (LENNS) around sanitation in India

lennsWorking with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we are implementing a five-year study to analyze and transform Social Networks and Social Norms related to open defecation in the Bihar and Tamil Nadu regions of India.

International Survey on Expectations and Compliance during the COVID Pandemic

covidWe conducted a large-scale survey experiment in nine countries with representative samples of the population to explore compliance with preventive health policies such as social distancing, wearing masks and staying at home.

The Social Norms and Accountable Governance (SNAG) project around corruption in Nigeria

Screen Shot 2021 01 06 at 11.42.53 AMTogether with the Chatham House Africa Programme, we are exploring the drivers of corruption and the role of religion in anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria. Understanding both how corruption functions as a collective practice and the social markers that determine what actions are acceptable or disapproved of by citizens is crucial to tackling the issue.

Sociocentric Network Analysis of Indian Communities linked to the LENNS study

lenns studyWe are analyzing sociocentric data on reference networks in places close to our main LENNS intervention sites.

New Research

In Science we (should) trust: expectations and compliance during the Covid-19 pandemic

Bicchieri, C., Fatas, E., Aldama, A., Casas, A., Deshpande, I., Lauro, M., Parilli, C., Spohn, M., Pereira, P., & Wen, R. (2021). In science we (should) trust: Expectations and compliance across nine countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plos One, Forthcoming. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-106840/v1

Deviant or Wrong? The Effects of Norm Information on the Efficacy of Punishment

Bicchieri, C., Dimant, E., & Xiao, E. (2021). Deviant or wrong? The effects of norm information on the efficacy of punishment. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 188, 209–235. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2021.04.002

Norms and Social Network–Centric Behavior Change Intervention (Nam Nalavazhvu) for Improved Toilet Usage in Peri-Urban Communities of Tamil Nadu: Protocol for a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

Ashraf, S., Bicchieri, C., Delea, M. G., Das, U., Chauhan, K., Kuang, J., Shpenev, A., & Thulin, E. (2021). Norms and Social Network–Centric Behavior Change Intervention (Nam Nalavazhvu) for Improved Toilet Usage in Peri-Urban Communities of Tamil Nadu: Protocol for a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 10(5), e24407. https://doi.org/10.2196/24407

Core Materials

The Grammar of Society (book)

grammar of society

Drawing on several intellectual traditions and methods, including those of social psychology, experimental economics and evolutionary game theory, Bicchieri provides an integrated account of how social norms emerge, why and when we follow them, and the situations where we are most likely to focus on relevant norms.

Applying Social Norms Theory in CATS Programming (report)

Applying Social Norms Theory in CATS Programming

The primary goal of this document is to provide the necessary information on the importance, nature and application of the theory of social norms to sanitation specialists. This document distills insights from joint collaborations with UNICEF, and aims to promote positive social change with regard to many harmful collective patterns of behavior related to sanitation.

Norms in the Wild (book)

in the wild

Is it possible to change social expectations around forced marriage, genital mutilations, and public health practices like vaccinations and sanitation? If so, how? What tools might we use? This short book explores how social norms work, and how changing them – changing preferences, beliefs, and especially social expectations – can potentially improve lives all around the world.

Social Determinants of Open Defecation: Phase 2 Materials (report)

Social Determinants of Open Defecation: Phase 2 MaterialsIn the second phase of our study of the social determinants of open defecation in India, we have produced a report detailing our diagnosis of a series of collective behaviors relevant to open defecation. We also describe patterns among our norms data to previously collected social network data. Furthermore, we track changes over time and other relevant patterns.

Our Research Database

UNICEF-Mali: Normes sociales liées à Le mariage d’enfants

UNICEF-Mali: Normes sociales liées à Le mariage d’enfants

Abstract:
This report aims to analyze social norms related to child marriage and the eating habits of children under the age of 2 in the Sikasso and Kayes regions. The results of the study will enable UNICEF to better inform its Chapters and Mali to better understand the socio-cultural dynamics that hinder the change of gender in relation to child marriage, exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding.
UNICEF Pakistan: WASH Sustainability Check

UNICEF Pakistan: WASH Sustainability Check

Abstract:
This study focuses on Rural ODF Status (exclusive latrine use in ODF certified villages – behavioral sustainability) and continued functionality of RWSS (drinking water only) in the geographic region of two provinces in Pakistan, Sindh and Punjab. Our chief role was to develop, integrate and analyze social norms measures as part of the larger sustainability check. This report presents those methods, measures and findings.
The Role of Trendsetters in the Popularization and Adoption of the Swachh Bharat Mission

The Role of Trendsetters in the Popularization and Adoption of the Swachh Bharat Mission

Abstract:
This UNICEF India report sheds light on whether (and to what degree) trendsetters were involved and may have influenced the social diffusion of Swachh Bharat Mission in India. Understanding who trendsetters are and how they can be motivated to act is an important step in building a comprehensive theory of social change. The present research is particularly important for India’s policy efforts post-ODF, as continuous support from stakeholders is necessary to sustain toilet use and maintenance.
Social Norms Manual: Zimbabwe and Swaziland

Social Norms Manual: Zimbabwe and Swaziland

Abstract:
A Social Norms Manual produced for Zimbabwe and Swaziland as part of the UNICEF Office of Research’s Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children. This manual serves as a guide to key concepts in the social norms framework with examples pertaining to the countries and programming areas.
Social Determinants of Open Defecation: Phase 1 Materials

Social Determinants of Open Defecation: Phase 1 Materials

Abstract:
In the first phase of our study of the social determinants of open defecation in India, we have produced a report detailing how social networks influence latrine ownership. We also explore demographic predictors of ownership and use and how our findings differ from existing literature. We explore how these network data link to norms data in our Phase 2 report.
Social Determinants of Open Defecation: Phase 2 Materials

Social Determinants of Open Defecation: Phase 2 Materials

Abstract:
In the second phase of our study of the social determinants of open defecation in India, we have produced a report detailing our diagnosis of a series of collective behaviors relevant to open defecation. We also describe patterns among our norms data to previously collected social network data. Furthermore, we track changes over time and other relevant patterns.
Nadar en Contra de la Corriente

Nadar en Contra de la Corriente

Abstract:
2019 Spanish translated version of Bicchieri’s Norms in the Wild (2016). A partir de una rigurosa investigación, Cristina Bicchieri ofrece en estas páginas elementos para entender cómo se relacionan las acciones individuales con los comportamientos grupales, y comprueba con evidencias que es posible transformar una sociedad a través de la educación y mediante las actuaciones individuales.
Shifting Social Norms to Mitigate Climate Change in the Anthropocene: A Review and Practical Guide

Shifting Social Norms to Mitigate Climate Change in the Anthropocene: A Review and Practical Guide

Abstract:
In this upcoming publication we synthesize the literature on social norm creation, change, and measurement from the perspectives of psychology, anthropology, sociology, and economics, and discuss opportunities and challenges for the application of social norm interventions to promote climate action. We argue that social norm interventions aimed at climate action and/or other social dilemmas are promising but no panacea. They require in-depth contextual knowledge and a high degree of tailoring and problem-specific pre-testing before they can be effectively implemented at scale. Our review tries to provide policy makers with the insights and tools to do so.
In Science we (should) trust: expectations and compliance during the Covid-19 pandemic

In Science we (should) trust: expectations and compliance during the Covid-19 pandemic

Abstract:
The magnitude and nature of the COVID-19 pandemic prevents public health policies from relying on coercive enforcement. Practicing social distancing, wearing masks and staying at home are voluntary and conditional on the behavior of others. We present the results of a large-scale survey experiment in nine countries with representative samples of the population. We find that both  empirical expectations (what others do) and normative expectations (what others approve of) play a significant role in compliance, beyond the effect of any other individual or group characteristic. Our results are driven by an asymmetric interaction with individuals’ trust in government and science.
Collective Action on Corruption in Nigeria: A Social Norms Approach to Connecting Society and Institutions

Collective Action on Corruption in Nigeria: A Social Norms Approach to Connecting Society and Institutions

Bibliography:

Hoffmann, L. K., & Patel, R. N. (2021, March 25). Collective action on corruption in Nigeria. Retrieved from https://www.chathamhouse.org/2021/03/collective-action-corruption-nigeria

Abstract:
This report aims to diagnose what drives corrupt behaviour in Nigeria, and the types of beliefs that support practices understood to be corrupt. Its findings are based largely on a national household survey jointly developed by the Chatham House Africa Programme and the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Norms Group (PennSONG), in collaboration with Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics as well as a network of academics and practitioners from Nigerian universities and NGOs. The findings present new evidence of the social beliefs and expectations that influence some day-today forms of corruption in Nigeria. Fuller details of the survey and associated research are given in the body of the report, as well as in the annex to the main text.
Sustaining Safe Sanitation and Hygiene Practices through Enhanced Behavior Change Communication Models

Sustaining Safe Sanitation and Hygiene Practices through Enhanced Behavior Change Communication Models

Abstract:
This report summarizes the pre-training preparatory field visit to Nambale and Nyando Districts that took place on November 29 and 30, and the training work done at the Morendat Training Centre in Naivasha from December 3 to December 6. The training revolved around Cristina Bicchieri’s account of social norms (cf. her The Grammar of Society, Cambridge University Press, 2005.) The main aim of the training was to show how the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to eradicate open defecation and Social Norm Theory (SNT) can be readily harmonized and how elements of CLTS can be better understood when looked at through the lens of SNT.

Women are more likely to expect social sanctions for open defecation: Evidence from Tamil Nadu India

Bibliography:

Kuang J, Ashraf S, Shpenev A, Delea MG, Das U, Bicchieri C (2020) Women are more likely to expect social sanctions for open defecation: Evidence from Tamil Nadu India. PLoS ONE 15(10): e0240477.

Why do so Few People Share Fake News? It Hurts Their Reputation

Bibliography:

Altay, S., Hacquin, A., & Mercier, H. (2019, October 1). Why do so Few People Share Fake News? It Hurts Their Reputation.

When a Nudge Backfires: Combining (Im)Plausible Deniability with Social and Economic Incentives to Promote Pro-Social Behavioral Change (with G. Bolton & U. Schmidt), under review.

Bibliography:

Bolton, Gary and Dimant, Eugen and Schmidt, Ulrich, When a Nudge Backfires: Combining (Im)Plausible Deniability with Social and Economic Incentives to Promote Pro-Social Behavioral Change (March 26, 2020).

Using Social Norms to Change Behavior and Increase Sustainability in the Real World: a Systematic Review of the Literature. Sustainability

Bibliography:

Yamin, P.; Fei, M.; Lahlou, S.; Levy, S. (2019). Using Social Norms to Change Behavior and Increase Sustainability in the Real World: a Systematic Review of the Literature. Sustainability, 11, 5847.

Under influence

Bibliography:

Frédérique de Vignemont, Hugo Mercier. Under influence. Hilary Kornblith and Brian McLaughlin. Alvin Goldman and his Critics, Blackwell, pp.00-00, 2013.

Trustworthiness is a social norm, but trusting is not.

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C., Xiao, E., & Muldoon, R. (2011). Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 10(2), 170-187. doi:10.1177/1470594X10387260

Social Norms Manual: Viet Nam, Indonesia and the Philippines

Social Norms Manual: Viet Nam, Indonesia and the Philippines

Abstract:
Drawing on several intellectual traditions and methods, including those of social psychology, experimental economics and evolutionary game theory, Bicchieri provides an integrated account of how social norms emerge, why and when we follow them, and the situations where we are most likely to focus on relevant norms.

Social Norms

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C. & Muldoon, R., (2011) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Slipping on slippery slope arguments

Bibliography:

Fumagalli, R. (2020). Slipping on slippery slope arguments. Bioethics, 34(4), 412-419.

Sanitation practices during early phases of COVID-19 lockdown in peri-urban communities in Tamil Nadu, India

Bibliography:

Ashraf, S., Bicchieri, C., Das, U & Kuang, J. (2020, September 29). Sanitation practices during early phases of COVID-19 lockdown in peri-urban communities in Tamil Nadu, India.

Requiem for a Nudge: Framing Effects in Nudging Honesty

Bibliography:

Dimant, E., van Kleef, G. A., & Shalvi, S. (2020). Requiem for a nudge: Framing effects in nudging honesty. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 172, 247-266.

Perceptions of Autonomy, Inequality, and Fairness

Bibliography:

Aldama, A., Bicchieri, C., Freundt, J., Mellers, B., & Peters, E. (2020). Perceptions of Autonomy, Inequality, and Fairness. Inequality, and Fairness (March 19, 2020).

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure: In search of an efficient property regime for waste in the Global South

Bibliography:

Danese, G. (2021). One person’s trash is another person’s treasure: In search of an efficient property regime for waste in the Global South. Waste Management., 128, 251–260.

On the emergence of descriptive norms

Bibliography:

Muldoon, R., Lisciandra, C., Bicchieri, C., Hartmann, S., & Sprenger, J. (2014). Politics, Philosophy & Economics,13(1), 3-22. doi:10.1177/1470594X12447791

Observability, Social Proximity, and the Erosion of Norm Compliance (with C. Bicchieri, S. Gächter & D. Nosenzo), under review.

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, Cristina and Dimant, Eugen and Gachter, Simon and Nosenzo, Daniele, Observability, Social Proximity, and the Erosion of Norm Compliance (March 23, 2020).

Norms, preferences and conditional behavior

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C. (2010). Politics, Philosophy and Economics, 9(3), 297-313. doi: 10.1177/1470594X10369276

Norms, conventions, and the power of expectation

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C. (2015). In N. Cartwright & E. Montuschi (Eds.), Philosophy of social science: A new introduction (pp. 208-232). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Norms in the Wild

Norms in the Wild

Abstract:
Is it possible to change social expectations around forced marriage, genital mutilations, and public health practices like vaccinations and sanitation? If so, how? What tools might we use? This short book explores how social norms work, and how changing them – changing preferences, beliefs, and especially social expectations – can potentially improve lives all around the world.

Norms and Social Network–Centric Behavior Change Intervention (Nam Nalavazhvu) for Improved Toilet Usage in Peri-Urban Communities of Tamil Nadu: Protocol for a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

Bibliography:

Ashraf, S., Bicchieri, C., Delea, M. G., Das, U., Chauhan, K., Kuang, J., … & Thulin, E. (2021). Norms and Social Network–Centric Behavior Change Intervention (Nam Nalavazhvu) for Improved Toilet Usage in Peri-Urban Communities of Tamil Nadu: Protocol for a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR research protocols, 10(5), e24407.

Norms and beliefs: How change occurs

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C. & Mercier H. (2014). In M. Xenitidou & B. Edmonds (Eds.) The complexity of social norms (pp. 37-54). New York, NY: Springer International Publishing.

Norm manipulation, norm evasion: experimental evidence

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C., & Chavez, A. K. (2013). Economics and Philosophy, 29(02), 175-198.

Norm Change: Trendsetters and Social Structure

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C & Funcke, A. (2018). Social Research: An International Quarterly, 85(1), 1-21.

Local determinants of driving behaviours: Installation Theory interventions to reduce fuel consumption among truck drivers in Colombia

Bibliography:

Yamin, P., Lahlou, S., Ortega, S., & Skrickij, V. (2021). Local determinants of driving behaviours: Installation Theory interventions to reduce fuel consumption among truck drivers in Colombia. Transport, 35(6), 616-634.

Justification and conformity

Bibliography:

Erte Xiao (2017) “Justification and Conformity”.  Journal of Economic Behavior and Organisation, 136, 15-28.

Isolating the effect of injunctive norms on conservation behavior: New evidence from a field experiment in California

Bibliography:

Bhanot, S. P. (2018). Isolating the effect of injunctive norms on conservation behavior: New evidence from a field experiment in California. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Is participation contagious? Evidence from a household vector control campaign in urban Peru.

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C. & Buttenheim, A. (2013). Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68, 103-109.

Human Punishment Behavior

Bibliography:

Erte Xiao (2019) “Human Punishment Behavior”. Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Economics and Finance. Oxford University Press USA.

How Trendsetters Shaped India’s Massive Sanitation Campaign

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C., McNally, P., Ghai, S., & Patel, R. (2019, September 20). How Trendsetters Shaped India’s Massive Sanitation Campaign.

Grammar of Society

Grammar of Society

Abstract:
Drawing on several intellectual traditions and methods, including those of social psychology, experimental economics and evolutionary game theory, Bicchieri provides an integrated account of how social norms emerge, why and when we follow them, and the situations where we are most likely to focus on relevant norms.

Game-Theoretic Accounts of Social Norms: The Role of Normative Expectations

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C., & Sontuoso, A. (2017). In R. Croson, M. Capra, M. I. Rigdon, & T. Rosenblat (Eds)., Handbook of Experimental Game Theory. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Framing messages for vaccination supporters

Bibliography:

Altay, S., & Mercier, H. (2020). Framing messages for vaccination supporters. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 26(4), 567–578.

Ethical challenges of using video for qualitative research and ethnography

Bibliography:

Everri, M., Heitmayer, M., Yamin, P., Lahlou, S. (2020). Ethical challenges of using video for qualitative research and ethnography. In: Lähdesmäki, Tuuli, Koskinen-Koivisto, Eerika, Čeginskas, Viktorija L.A. and Koistinen, Aino-Kaisa, (eds.) Challenges and Solutions in Ethnographic Research: Ethnography with a Twist. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 68-83. ISBN 9780367376888.

Do the right thing: but only if others do so.

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C. & Xiao, E. (2009). Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 22(2), 191-208.

Do descriptive norms messaging interventions backfire? Protocol for a systematic review of the boomerang effect

Bibliography:

Kuang, Jinyi & Delea, Maryann & Thulin, Erik & Bicchieri, Cristina. (2020). Do descriptive norms messaging interventions backfire? Protocol for a systematic review of the boomerang effect. 10.21203/rs.3.rs-18161/v1.

Deviant or Wrong? The Effects of Norm Information on the Efficacy of Punishment

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C., Dimant, E., & Xiao, E. (2021). Deviant or wrong? The effects of norm information on the efficacy of punishment. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 188, 209-235.

Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior Among Peers and the Role of Social Proximity

Bibliography:

Dimant, E. (2019). Contagion of pro-and anti-social behavior among peers and the role of social proximity. Journal of Economic Psychology, 73, 66-88.

Bias in the perceived prevalence of open defecation: Evidence from Bihar, India

Bibliography:

Kuang J, Thulin E, Ashraf S, Shpenev A, Das U, Delea MG, et al. (2020) Bias in the perceived prevalence of open defecation: Evidence from Bihar, India. PLoS ONE 15(9): e0238627.

Behaving as expected: Public information and fairness norms.

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C. & Chavez, A. (2010).Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 23(2), 161-178.

Awareness, risk perception, and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic in communities of Tamil Nadu, India.

Bibliography:

Kuang J, Ashraf S, Das U, Bicchieri C. Awareness, Risk Perception, and Stress during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Communities of Tamil Nadu, India. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(19):7177. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197177

Applying Social Norms Theory in CATS Programming

Applying Social Norms Theory in CATS Programming

Abstract:
The primary goal of this document is to provide the necessary information on the importance, nature and application of the theory of social norms to sanitation specialists. This document distills insights from joint collaborations with UNICEF, and aims to promote positive social change with regard to many harmful collective patterns of behavior related to sanitation.

An Embarrassment of Riches: Modeling Social Preferences in Ultimatum Games

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C., & Zhang, J. (2012). In U. Maki (Ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science: Philosophy of Economics. Elsevier.

A Theory of Social Programs, Legitimacy and Citizen Cooperation with the State

Bibliography:

Navarrete, A. S. A. (2019). A Theory of Social Programs, Legitimacy and Citizen Cooperation with the State.

Abstract:
Aid and social programs are commonly used to fight insurgencies and crime. However, sometimes they fail to achieve their goal of increasing citizen cooperation with the state. I propose a series of game-theoretic models that focus on the strategic interaction between a state and a citizen in the face of challenges to the state’s monopoly of power. I argue that even if the provision of aid or social programs increases citizens’ intrinsic motivation to cooperate with the state, they do not necessarily translate into more cooperation. I show that citizen cooperation depends on the whether the increase in the provision of aid is accompanied by an increase in the use of violent or hard tools by the state, the citizens’ expectation of future rewards, and the challenger’s response. The models thus provide a rationale for why even if social programs increase state legitimacy, they may fail to increase citizen cooperation.

A structured approach to a diagnostic of collective practices.

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C., Lindemans, J.W., & Jiang, T. (2014). Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1418.

A social norms perspective on child marriage

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, C., Lindemans, J.W., & Jiang, T. (2014). UNICEF.

(F)utility Exposed

Bibliography:

Fumagalli, R. (2019). (F) utility Exposed. Philosophy of Science, 86(5), 955-966.