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Social Norms and Applications Project

Social Norms and Applications Project

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This is a cross-disciplinary research project led by David Levine (Leverhulme International Professor of Economics), Ryan McKay (Professor of Psychology) and Kostas Stathis (Professor of Computer Science), studying the development of social norms.

The project brings together economists, computer scientists and psychologists with expertise in behaviour, social norms, and artificial intelligence.

The goal is to build artificial agents that mimic the behaviour of human beings in the laboratory, and particularly their ability to design and implement social norms using tools such as punishment and reciprocal altruism. There are two elements to this project.

The first is the development and training of artificial agents based on experimental data. The second is the conduct of new experiments to test, inform, and further develop the theory.

The project’s findings will lead to many downstream applications including, for example, encouraging voter turnout, reforming the police, and developing better methods of providing foreign aid, and public policy in the UK will be the first to benefit from these developments.

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