Completed: Covid-19 effects on social norms and collaboration

Covid-19 has resulted in restrictions, school closures and quarantine, but how has the pandemic changed our social patterns and norms?

Many global challenges today - like climate change, loss of biodiversity and vaccine hesitancy - are characterized by social dilemmas. A social dilemma is a situation where individuals would be better off cooperating but fail to do so because of conflicting interests between individuals.

The aim of this project is to examine how Covid-19 has changed social patterns and people's ability to cooperate to solve social dilemmas. Through an empirical study, the project will examine what effect Covid-19 had on cooperative social norms and individuals' desire to cooperate in form of a “collective-risk” dilemma. Social dilemmas from collective risks are situations where individuals have to reach a certain goal through coordination to avoid the risk of collective loss, one example of that is climate change.

In 2018, we did a 30-days online experiment to test how cooperative social norms evolve in groups, and the effect of these norms to promote collaboration (Wave 1; see Szekely, Lipari, […] Andrighetto, under review). This project aims to do a Wave 2 with the same kind of experimental design that is possible due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and measure how norms and cooperation have changed during the pandemic. A Wave 3 will be done after the pandemic is over to test if Covid-19 have lasting effects on society.



Szekely, A., Lipari, F., Antonioni, A. et al. Evidence from a long-term experiment that collective risks change social norms and promote cooperation. Nat Commun 12, 5452 (2021)




Principal Investigator

Giulia Andrighetto PhD, Philosophy

Project members

Nanda Wijermans Associate Professor in Computer Science and System Science

Other project members