March 30, 2023

Social Norms: What They Are and How They Help and Hinder Farmed Animal Advocacy


While many people believe their thoughts and desires rule their behavior, in reality people often act according to what they believe society approves of and expects of them. That is, they act as social creatures who follow the “rules” of society in order to avoid punishment and reap rewards. In social psychology, these unspoken “ways of doing things” are called social norms, and they are incredibly important to understand when advocating social change. In this companion webinar to Social Norms: What They Are and How They Help and Hinder Farmed Animal Advocacy, Dr. Nic Delon, Zoe Griffiths, and Dr. Courtney Dillard will explain how social norms work, demonstrate how they both hurt and help animal advocacy efforts, and offer recommendations for harnessing the power of social norms while avoiding the pitfalls.

The research team at Mercy For Animals values collaboration with academics who bring to the table rigorous methodologies and novel audiences.  We’re grateful for their enthusiasm for our issues!  For advocates working on the ground, these collaborative projects provide opportunities to apply theory to practice and ensure that strategy is evidence-based.  We hope that you find these recommendations and findings valuable to your work in farmed animal advocacy.

  • Dr. Nic Delon
  • Zoe Griffiths
  • Dr. Courtney Dillard