March 31, 2020

Covid-19 Crisis: Eugen Dimant, PhD on the Roles of Social Norms and Good Science

Eugen Dimant, PhD is an Associate Professor of Practice in Behavioral and Decision Sciences, which is part of the new Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics under Cristina Bicchieri, Ph.D.’s leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. Much of his work is focused on how social norms are formed and impact our lives.

We talked about how social norms drive individual behaviors in different ways and how research on coronavirus-related behaviors is being completed at record speeds – but not necessarily all in good ways. He recommends slowing down, working across disciplines, and being clear on research objectives to insure test methods and data collection conform to the highest standards and deliver the most meaningful results. He also mentioned that sustainable behavior change requires more than nudges and the roles that both descriptive and injunctive norms play (they are described in greater detail in our grooving session after the interview).

It’s also important to be reminded that when we see empty shelves where toilet paper used to be, we almost always feel the need to buy more. Be careful out there.

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves


Connect with Kurt and Tim:

Kurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates  e-mail:

Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan  e-mail:

Lantern Group:


Behavioral Grooves:

Weekly Grooves:

Common Biases & Heuristics:


General Coronavirus Info:

Daily Newsletter Summarizing data from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security:


Great videos on the science behind this by Dr. Peter Attia – this is the first in a series:

What is herd immunity?

A list curated by


Coronavirus & Behavioral Science:

Selected Links: The Behavioral Sice of Coronavirus:

Why no one is reading your coronavirus email:

Handwashing can stop a virus, so why don’t we do it?:

The behavioral science of handwashing:

Ideas 42:  The Behavioral Side of COVID-19 here:

Greater Good:



How we can cope or be better during this crisis:

Tip Sheet from HUMU:

Resources for learning at home:


General Behavioral Science and other info related or talked about in the series:

Common Biases and Heuristics:

Jonathan Haidt – 5 Moral Foundations:

Jürgen Klopp:

UBI (Universal Basic Income):

7-Minute Workout:

4 Drive Model:

Universal Basic Income:

Why we are not going back to normal:

Annie Duke’s “How To Decide”:


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