Since 2010, the Penn Social Norms Group has engaged in a number of projects with different partner organizations around the world.

PennSONG offers an original social norms framework marking a notable advance in our understanding of the social motivators behind collective behavior. Our core mission is three-fold: to continue developing our social norms framework providing cutting-edge theory for praxis, to educate partners and the public about how to use the framework for good, and to work directly with organizations to develop measures and design interventions sensitive to the mileau of social networks and norms we navigate in daily life. Without such measures and assessments, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to design appropriate interventions and to understand why some are successful whereas others fail.


The Penn Social Norms Workshop is designed to build our partner’s capacity to diagnose, measure and change social norms in a target area. Trainings may include modules on related topics such as social networks and the relationship between legal and social change.

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Penn SoNG develops new social measures and survey questions that allow partners to diagnose the type of social behavior and measure norm creation or abandonment ensuring the sustainability of change. Consultancies frequently make use of our methodological expertise involving appropriate statistical sampling, mapping social networks, conducting large scale surveys, building data-sets, performing econometric analyses, among others.

Experimental Research

At the University of Pennsylvania, we conduct lab experiments giving additional theoretical validity to our underlying concepts. In the lab, we run controlled studies related to fairness, punishment, communication, self-serving bias, identity and a host of related ideas.

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Online Learning

As a public resource, you can learn about the basic ideas in our social norms framework by signing up for our free Coursera.

Our Coursera


We work closely with our partners and networks throughout Penn and the world.

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