Behavioral Grooves Podcast

Covid-19 Crisis: Cristina Bicchieri – Messaging Rules For Improving Social Behavior

April 11, 2020

Cristina Bicchieri, PhD is the S. J. Patterson Harvie Professor of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics, a Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, a Professor of Legal Studies at the Wharton School, the Head of the Behavioral Ethics Lab, the Director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program, and is the Faculty Director of the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research with UNICEF keeps her busy around the world, as well.

Our discussion with Cristina offers more than just a few tips (noted below). Cristina’s observations are based on a lifetime of excellent research and writing and we are happy to share them with you. Also, Cristina was our guest on episode 102, where you can help yourself to more insights on social norms and reference networks in that conversation.

We also asked Cristina to get out her crystal ball to share her visions of

Also, listeners might want to think about these tips for all of the corporate and customer-focused messaging.

6 Rules For April 2020

  1. Do not send conflicting information
  2. Make the desired behavior observable
  3. Reinforce positive behaviors seen in others
  4. Choose the appropriate reference network
  5. Avoid moralizing messages
  6. Avoid ambiguity

In our grooving session, Kurt offered a thought experiment for how the media might frame bad behaviors in their reporting.

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves


Connect with Kurt and Tim:

Kurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates  e-mail: [email protected]

Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan  e-mail: [email protected]

Lantern Group:


Behavioral Grooves:

Weekly Grooves:

Common Biases & Heuristics:

Patreon Site for Behavioral Grooves:


General Coronavirus Info:

Daily Newsletter Summarizing data from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security:


Great videos on the science behind this by Dr. Peter Attia – this is the first in a series:

What is herd immunity?:

A list curated by [email protected]


Coronavirus & Behavioral Science:

Selected Links: The Behavioral Sice of Coronavirus:

Why no one is reading your coronavirus email:

Handwashing can stop a virus, so why don’t we do it?:

The behavioral science of handwashing:

Ideas 42: The Behavioral Side of COVID-19 here:

Greater Good:


How We Can Cope During This Crisis:

Tip Sheet from HUMU:

Resources for learning at home:


General Behavioral Science Links:

Common Biases and Heuristics:

Jonathan Haidt – 5 Moral Foundations:

Annie Duke’s “How To Decide”:

“16 Ways To Promote Hand Washing With Behavioral Science” article by Aline Holzwarth:

Aline Holzwarth’s Playlist on Spotify:

Deontological and Consequential Moralities:

Difference between descriptive and injunctive norms:

Emotion Research from FinalMile:

Pandemic Playbook from FinalMile: neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.