Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences Capstones

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Identifying a relevant and specific reference group can often prove challenging when designing a norm-nudge, but not including a relevant reference group can also potentially cause a norm-nudge to backfire even when there are appeals to high social proximity. A potential solution explored in this capstone is incorporating tight-loose frameworks in normative messages as a means of evoking a sense of social proximity without necessarily specifying a reference group. A pilot study examining charitable giving using these tight-loose frameworks is conducted to see whether adding these frameworks increases pro-social norm compliance. While preliminary results suggest that there is no significant difference in norm compliance when a tight-loose framework is used, there is some evidence which suggests that presenting tightly (loosely) framed messages to tightly (loosely)-minded individuals may increase the likelihood that they will donate to the charity. Future research on the importance of tightness-looseness as a context to consider when designing norm-nudges is encouraged.



Date Posted: 20 November 2019