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 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 has 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

External project members