About this Course
This course is Part 2 of the Social Norms, Social Change series. In this course, we will examine social change, the tools we may use to enact change, and put into practice all we have learned in Part 1. See Social Norms, Social Change Part I at this link: https://coursera.org/learn/norms
This course covers scripts and schemas, the cognitive structures in which social expectations are embedded, and their relationship with social norms. The course then examines the essentials of norm abandonment, including the relations between personal beliefs and social expectations. We will also evaluate existing intervention strategies, including legal reforms, information campaigns, economic incentives, and group deliberations. Finally, we look at a variety of tools policy makers may use to effect change, highlight the role of trendsetters in social change, and explore the conditions under which they can be successful. The course is a joint Penn-UNICEF project.”
|Shareable Certificate||Earn a Certificate upon completion|
|100% online||Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.|
|Flexible deadlines||Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.|
|Hours to complete||Approx. 13 hours to complete|
|Available languages||Subtitles: French, Chinese (Simplified), Greek, Russian, Turkish, English, Spanish, Romanian|
|Career direction||44% started a new career after completing these courses|
|Career Benefit||30% got a tangible career benefit from this course|
|Career promotion||25% got a pay increase or promotion|
This Course Offered by University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and considers itself to be the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.
UNICEF, also known as the United Nations Children’s Fund, is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. The agency is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world, with a presence in 192 countries and territories.
My intellectual affinities lie at the border between philosophy, game theory and psychology. My primary research focus is on judgment and decision making with special interest in decisions about fairness, trust, and cooperation, and how expectations affect behavior. A second research focus examines the nature and evolution of social norms, how to measure norms (consensus and compliance) and what strategies to adopt to foster social change. This research is more applied, and forms the core of the newly created Penn Social Norms Training and Consulting group. A third, earlier research focus has been the epistemic foundations of game theory and how changes in information affects rational choices and solutions. • In my most recent work, I have designed behavioral experiments aimed at testing several hypotheses based on the theory of social norms that I developed in my book, The Grammar of Society: the Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms (Cambridge University Press, 2006). The experimental results show that most subjects have a conditional preference for following pro-social norms. Manipulating their expectations causes major behavioral changes (i.e., from fair to unfair choices, from cooperation to defection, etc.). One of the conclusions we may draw is that there are no such things as stable dispositions or unconditional preferences (to be fair, reciprocate, cooperate, and so on). Another is that policymakers who want to induce pro-social behavior have to work on changing people’s expectations about how other people behave in similar situations. These results have major consequences for our understanding of moral behavior and the construction of better normative theories, grounded on what people can in fact do. • The nature and dynamics of social norms studies how norms may emerge and become stable, why an established norm may suddenly be abandoned, how is it possible that inefficient or unpopular norms survive, and what motivates people to obey norms. In order to answer some of these questions, I have combined evolutionary and game-theoretic tools with models of decision making drawn from cognitive and social psychology. For example, I use my theory of context-dependent preferences to build more realistic evolutionary models of the emergence of pro-social norms of fairness and reciprocity. • My earlier (but never completely abandoned) research focus was the epistemic foundations of game theory. I recently wrote about belief-revision in games, and what kind of solutions our belief-revision model supports. In my past work I have analyzed the consequences of relaxing the ‘common knowledge’ assumption in several classes of games. My contributions include axiomatic models of players’ theory of the game and the proof that — in a large class of games — a player’s theory of the game is consistent only if the player’s knowledge is limited. An important consequence of assuming bounded knowledge is that it allows for more intuitive solutions to familiar games such as the finitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma or the chain-store paradox. I have also been interested in devising mechanical procedures (algorithms) that allow players to compute solutions for games of perfect and imperfect information. Devising such procedures is particularly important for Artificial Intelligence applications, since interacting software agents have to be programmed to play a variety of ‘games’.
Syllabus – What you will learn from this course
Week 1: Honors Lesson: Scripts and Schemas
This course is “part 2” of Social Norms, Social Change and the lessons here are a continuation of the first course.
This module covers scripts and schemas, the cognitive structures in which social expectations are embedded, and their relationship with social norms.
Week 2: Norm Creation
Week 3: Norm Abandonment
This module covers the essentials of norm abandonment, including the relations between personal beliefs and social expectations. It also evaluates existing intervention strategies, including legal reforms, information campaigns, economic incentives, and group deliberations.
Week 4: Trendsetters and Social Change
This module covers trendsetters and their relations to social change. Who are trendsetters? What are their characteristics? How can we identify them? And how can we use them to bring about positive social change. This module also discusses the role of soap operas and edutainment in bringing about social change, how fictional characters and groups can act as trendsetters, and comparative advantages of edutainment interventions over traditional interventions.
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