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Shrieking Sirens. Schemata, Scripts, and Social Norms: How Change Occurs

Author

Listed:
  • Cristina Bicchieri

    () (Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Peter McNally

Abstract

This paper investigates the causal relationships among scripts, schemata, and social norms. The authors examine how social norms are triggered by particular schemata and are grounded in scripts. Just as schemata are embedded in a network, so too are social norms, and they can be primed through spreading activation. Moreover, the expectations that allow a social norm’s existence are inherently grounded in particular scripts and schemata. Using interventions that have targeted gender norms, open defecation, female genital cutting, and other collective issues as examples, the authors argue that ignoring the cognitive underpinnings of a social norm doom interventions to failure.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Bicchieri & Peter McNally, 2016. "Shrieking Sirens. Schemata, Scripts, and Social Norms: How Change Occurs," PPE Working Papers 0005, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:ppc:wpaper:0005
    as

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    File URL: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/ppe-repec/ppc/wpaper/0005.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2016
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
    2. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094.
    3. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    4. Xiao, Erte & Bicchieri, Cristina, 2010. "When equality trumps reciprocity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 456-470, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bicchieri, Cristina & Marini, Annalisa, 2015. "Female Genital Mutilation: Fundamentals, Social Expectations and Change," MPRA Paper 67523, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Amalia Álvarez & Fabian Winter, 2018. "Normative change and culture of hate: An experiment in online environments," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2018_03, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    script; schema; norms; social norms; gender; interventions;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy
    • C99 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Other

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