Two basic ideas motivate my research. The first idea is that social psychological theory offers potentially useful tools for changing society in constructive ways. The second idea is that studying attempts to change society is one of the most fruitful ways to develop and assess social psychological theory. Much of my work has focused on prejudice and intergroup conflict reduction, using large-scale field experiments to test theoretically driven interventions.
Through field experiments in Central and Horn of Africa and in the United States, I have examined the impact of the mass media and interpersonal communication on tolerant and cooperative behaviors. I find support for a behavioral change model based on social norms and group influence. To change behavior, I suggest, it may be more fruitful to target citizens’ perceptions of typical or desirable behaviors (i.e., social norms) than their knowledge or beliefs. How do social norms and behaviors shift in real world settings? Some initial suggestions from this research include peer or role model endorsement, narrative communication, and group discussion. My work in post-conflict countries has led to related research on political cultural change and on civic education. I am also interested in social scientific methodology -- particularly causal inference and behavioral measurement.
- Aggression, Conflict, Peace
- Applied Social Psychology
- Intergroup Relations
- Persuasion, Social Influence
- Political Psychology
- Prejudice and Stereotyping
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- Paluck, E. L. (2011). Peer pressure against prejudice: A high school field experiment examining social network change. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 350-358.
- Paluck, E. L. (2010). The promising integration of qualitative methods and field experiments. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
- Paluck, E. L. (2009). Reducing intergroup prejudice and conflict using the media: A field experiment in Rwanda. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 574-587.
- Paluck, E. L. (2009). What's in a norm? Sources and processes of norm change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 594-600.
- Paluck, E. L. (2006). Diversity training and intergroup contact: A call to action research. Journal of Social Issues, 62(3), 439-451.
- Paluck, E. L., & Green, D. P. (2009). Prejudice reduction: What works? A review and assessment of research and practice. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 339-367.
- Paluck, E. L., & Shepherd, H. (2012). The salience of social referents: A field experiment on collective norms and harassment behavior in a school social network. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
- Paluck, E. L., & Shepherd, H. (2012). The salience of social referents: A field experiment on collective norms and harassment behavior in a school social network. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 899-915.
- Paluck, E. L., Shepherd, H., & Aronow, P. (2016). Changing climates of conflict: A social network driven experiment in 56 schools. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Shepherd, H., & Paluck, E.L. (2015). Stopping the drama: A field experiment on network signals, gender, and social influence in a high school. Social Psychology Quarterly.
- Tankard, M., & Paluck, E. L. (2017). The effect of a supreme court decision regarding gay marriage on social norms and personal attitudes. Psychological Science, 1-11.
- Tankard, M., & Paluck, E. L. (2016). Norm perception as a vehicle for social change. Social Issues and Policy Review, 10(1), 181-211.
- Psychology for Policy Analysis and Implementation
- The Social Psychology of Social Change
Elizabeth Levy Paluck
Department of Psychology
Princeton, New Jersey 08540
- Skype Name: @betsylevyp