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Special Issue "Social Norm and Risk Attitudes"

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Other publication (peer-review)
Author NaxHeinrich, ViehoffJuri,
Project The Anatomy of Systemic Financial Risk: Combining Ethical, Political and Economic Dimensions for Public Policy
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Other publication (peer-review)

Editor , Viehoff Juri; , Nax Heinrich
Publisher MDPI AG, Basel

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Both individuals’ attitudes to risks and to social norms crucially determine what players in a social interaction will decide to do. Literatures exist analyzing risk attitudes and social norms in isolation, yet risk attitudes and social norms also stand in a complex relationship that goes both ways. For example, risk attitudes of individuals can be governed and shaped by social norms about appropriateness and adequacy (resulting in normative demands such as “Don’t be reckless!”) — hence, our understanding of risk attitudes should benefit from understanding how social norms license or sanction risk-taking behavior depending on context. Conversely, different attitudes toward and perceptions of risk may determine the formation, change, and abandonment of social norms: Whether one will publicly defy a social norm, for example, may depend on one’s individual attitudes to the risks that are associated with its disobedience. In this Special Issue of Games, we seek to bring together scholarship from various disciplines (including but not limited to economics, sociology, philosophy, and psychology) concerned with the formation of society-wide risk attitudes and with studying the import of individual-level attitudes to risk. The aim of the issue is to collect a series of papers that will contribute toward improving our understanding of changes in attitudes to social norms and risks, including norm cascades, norm abandonment, and related phenomena. In doing so, we aim to strike a balance between (i) predominantly theoretical papers, for example on the definition of social norms, the order of explanation between social norms and risk attitudes, or how one ought to distinguish between (given) risk sensitivity and (assumed) risk perception, and (ii) applied papers; for example, in experimental economics, psychology or sociology, that either test existing theories or make use of data to generate new theories regarding how game-theoretic explanations can illuminate real-world social phenomena driven by risk and norm attitudes.