Nudges are popular types of interventions. Recent years have seen the rise of `norm-nudges' - nudges whose mechanism of action relies on social norms, inducing or changing social expectations. Norm-nudges can be powerful interventions, but they can also fail to be effective and even backfire unless they are designed with care. I highlight important considerations when designing norm-nudges and discuss a general model of social behavior based on social expectations and conditional preferences.
Cristina Bicchieri is the S. J. Patterson Harvie Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also director of the Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics (normsandbehavior.sas.upenn.edu/). She was knighted by the Italian government in 2007, is an 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). She is a world authority on social norms, and has consulted and done trainings on social norms and social change with UNICEF, the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, BBC Media, DFID, and many other groups. She has pioneered techniques for the measurement of social norms, and has shown how the provision of information can change social expectations in a manner that induces shifts in social behavior. She also conducts agent-based simulation studies to isolate the variables that lead to stability or change in social norms.