Kurt and Tim were invited to attend the Norms and Behavioral Change (NoBeC) workshop at the University of Pennsylvania on October 17 and 18, 2019, and what we experienced blew us away. We were impressed with a terrific diversity of academic fields studying social norms, the great work they are doing, and the generosity of the community (at UPenn as well as the behavioral science researchers from around the world).
This gathering was very different from industry assemblies we’ve attended, which in and of itself was not a surprise. However, there were three noteworthy differences. First, the lineup of speakers was heavily weighted toward researchers with findings on projects involving social norms. Second, academic audience members held speakers accountable for rigorous processes and the descriptions of their results. Lastly, the Q&A at the end of each presentation was filled with animated questions from economists, behavioral economists, sociologists, political scientists, philosophers, strategists, law professors, and of course, psychologists. The cross-disciplinary aspect of this group reinforced the need for more diverse thinking in the business world.
We came away with a greater appreciation of the role that social norms play in our behaviors and decision making as well as the tremendous research that’s being conducted on related topics.
We will be publishing our series of interviews with researchers from the workshop in the coming weeks, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
University of Pennsylvania Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/graduate/mbds