Post doc for project on how social norms emerge and change

We are seeking a strong and highly motivated candidate with a background in experimental sociology, economics, or social psychology for a postdoctoral position.

The advertised position is a two-year postdoc. The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with Dr. Giulia Andrighetto, the Principal Investigator of the five years Wallenberg Foundation Project How do human norms form and change?.  

Job description and project summary

The project aims to develop experimental paradigms that allow to study the mechanisms determining social norm emergence and change. Social norms are the glue that holds society and people together. They regulate almost every aspect of our social life, from tipping at the restaurant to the way in which we greet each other: by shaking hands, kissing one, two, three times, or with a touch of the elbow. Social norms may also help fulfill major collective responsibilities, such as ecological conservation and political participation.

The experiments will investigate these and similar questions (for an example of previous experimental work developed by the PI and her team on the topic of social norm change, see Szekely et al. 2021): How and when do social norms that may help to deal with collective threats – such as climate change and pandemics  emerge? How resistant are these social norms to changing conditions, such as variations in risk? How do cross-country difference in the strength of social norms and the willingness to enforce these norms (i.e., level of tightness) affect norm change? How can social norms that sustain “bad” behavior, such as norms of honor, cheating on taxes, paying bribes, emerge? How can these (harmful) social norms be changed? The project is briefly presented here

The candidate will be recruited by the Institute for Futures Studies in Stockholm and is expected to spend 80 percent of her/his time to the development of behavioral experiments and (cross-country) surveys and meta-analyses to understand social norms and their dynamics. The remaining 20 percent of the candidate’s time will be spent on administrative tasks, such as planning and organizing of conferences and workshops and grants’ writing. 

The working language is English. The project is developed in collaboration with the Laboratory of Agent Based Social Simulation of the National Research Council of Italy.


The successful candidate must have a PhD (or receive it soon) and she/he will be creative, independent, and with an inclination for interdisciplinary research and have expertise in one or more of the following topics: social norms, cooperation, conflict, collective action problems, social dilemmas. Finally, she/he will have experience with the design of (on-line, laboratory and/or field) experiments and the analysis of empirical data. 

Employment conditions

This is a two-year postdoc at 100 percent.

Starting from: January 2022 or as close as possible to this date. The successful candidate is expected to work on-site at the Laboratory of Agent Based Social Simulation in Rome.

Salary: Salary is between 38 970 - 42 290 SEK per month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.


Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications the following documents in English. Please compile all documents as a single pdf file:

  1. A curriculum vitae
  2. A letter of application (max 1 page) outlining how the applicant’s expertise could productively contribute to the understanding of social norms and their dynamics, in particular how they change.
  3. two research articles (not necessarily published yet),
  4. names and contact details of three people who are confident in your work.

Please send your application to [email protected] by January 25th, 2022. Interviews will be held regularly via link. The position may be filled before the last application date.


For more information about the project, please contact: [email protected]
or more information about the Institute for Futures Studies, please contact Christina Alwert.

We look forward to applications from all sexes and birth backgrounds, functionalities and life experiences.

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The Institute for Futures Studies carries out interdisciplinary research on important future issues and participates in the public discussion with its seminar and publication activities. Under the management of Director Gustaf Arrhenius (Professor of Moral and Political Philosophy), over eighty researchers from various disciplines work with future studies and long-term analysis.