Betsy Levy Paluck's research looks at unraveling how social networks and norms influence our interactions with one another and identifying interventions that can change destructive behavior. In her interview appearing in the April 2018 issue of New York Monthly, she comments on the #MeToo movement as well as her recent prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship award.
"Paluck’s essential insight is that changing people’s perceptions of social norms—their views of what is normal and desirable in their community or peer group—can alter behavior, even in the absence of a change in more stubbornly persistent individual attitudes. Her work puts a positive spin on conformity, which too often has fostered collective violence and other catastrophes. It suggests that this same impulse also can spur peace, tolerance, cooperation and other social goods. “It is a message of some hope,” she says."