Frontiers in Psychology
“How social norms change” is not only a theoretical question but also an empirical one. Many organizations have implemented programs to abandon harmful social norms. These programs are standardly monitored and evaluated with a set of empirical tools. While monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of changes in objective outcomes and behaviors is well developed, we will argue that M&E of changes in the wide range of beliefs and preferences important to social norms is still problematic. In this paper, we first present a theoretical framework and then show how it should guide social norms measurement. As a case study, we focus on the harmful practice of child marriage. We show how an operational theory of social norms can guide the design of surveys, experiments, and vignettes. We use examples from existing research to illustrate how to study social norms change.
Copyright © 2014 Bicchieri, Lindemans and Jiang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
social norms, child marriage, monitoring and evaluation, surveys, experiments, vignettes
Bicchieri, Cristina; Lindemans, Jan W.; and Jiang, Ting, "A Structured Approach to a Diagnostic of Collective Practices" (2014). Penn Social Norms Group. 4.
Date Posted: 22 February 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.