FACULTY RESEARCH  
Introductory Page
Matthew Botvinick
Tim Buschman
Jonathan Cohen
Ronald Comer
Andrew Conway
Joel Cooper
Susan Fiske
Asif Ghazanfar
Joan Girgus
Adele Goldberg
Elizabeth Gould
Michael Graziano
Charles Gross
Uri Hasson
Barry Jacobs
Sabine Kastner
Yael Niv
Kenneth Norman
Daniel Osherson
Elizabeth Levy Paluck
Deborah Prentice
Emily Pronin
Eldar Shafir
Nicole Shelton
Stacey Sinclair
Susan Sugarman
Jordan Taylor
Alexander Todorov
Nicholas Turk-Browne
Ilana Witten
Alin Coman

ELIZABETH LEVY PALUCK
Associate Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., Yale University, 2007
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Peretsman-Scully Hall
Psychology Department
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08540

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RESEARCH SUMMARY 

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.

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