Sierra Gonzales ’22



Project Title

Contextualizing Social Norms

Presentation Link

View Sierra's Presentation

I studied how social norms in interventions can be effective for change. A social norm is a perception of what others commonly do or believe in a given context. Previous research has conducted experimental work in different content areas to test the effectiveness of specific phrasing. I focused on reading those research papers and categorizing them into different types of mediums, or ways to implement the norm message, as well as confirming previous coders’ interpretations about whether the study should remain in our meta-analysis. The most interesting part of this work was being exposed to the wide variety of social-norm research, as well as discovering areas that still need more exploration. For this reason, I plan to conduct an experiment for my senior thesis in which I will use a social-norm intervention to try to reduce body-dysmorphic thoughts and actions, as my previous research has been on eating disorders. This internship was incredibly rewarding and helpful in improving my research abilities and discipline.

* This internship is connected to the HMEI Urban Challenge project, “Norm Dynamics as Agents of Urban Social Change and Environmental Sustainability: Investigating Cross-Cultural Differences and Longevity of Intervention.”

Internship Year


Project Category

Innovation and a New Energy Future


Behavioral Science for Policy Lab, Princeton University


Elke Weber, Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs; Johanna Matt-Navarro, Research Lab Manager, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment; Gregg Sparkman, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment