Laura Marcon (University of Pisa): “How do Italians make social inferences from norm information? A nationally representative case study”

Date: Tuesday, 25 June 2024, at 12:15 pm

Location: Seminar Room Dono Giannessi, DEM

Speaker and Title:

Laura Marcon (University of Pisa)
How do Italians make social inferences from norm information? A nationally representative case study

Discussant: Pietro Battiston (University of Pisa)


Social norms are collective patterns of behavior that arise in specific, context-dependent situations. People typically follow these patterns because they believe others are doing the same (empirical expectations) and because they expect others to think everyone should behave accordingly (normative expectations). Without these expectations driving collective action, social norms do not exist. Social norms can both solve collective action problems and hinder behavioral change, particularly when the dominant norm is dysfunctional and causes negative externalities. To successfully manipulate expectations in social norm interventions, it is crucial to understand where a collective behavior qualifies as a social norm, how people perceive social norms, and how they infer what others should and actually do.
Following Bicchieri and Kuang (2022, manuscript in prep), we aim to replicate their Study 1 on norm inferences in Italy. Our research will investigate how different moral values and habits influence people’s ability to infer social norms. We have adapted Study 1 to fit the Italian context, selecting 14 behavioral domains ranging from sustainable actions to corruption.
To determine if people’s inferences are influenced by their place of residence or origin, we created a pre-survey questionnaire with socio-demographic questions and items about opinions and attitudes, primarily drawn from the European Social Survey and the Moral Scale Survey. Before launching the main survey, we will create a representative sample of the Italian population to control for the impact of traditions and values associated with one’s birthplace or chosen identity on their norm inferences.

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Lunch Seminar 25 June

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