Follow Behavioral Norms

Good Behavior, By Design

When people act in ways that their societies consider ethical, all can benefit. Environmental neuroscientists have developed a rich understanding of how design can encourage space and object users to be on their best behavior— and their insights can be applied in practice.

Barriers (Real and Imagined) and Cheating (09-28-20)

Zhao lead a group that investigated how environments can influence cheating by 5- and 6-year olds. The team report that they “test the moral barrier hypothesis, which posits that moral violations can be inhibited by the introduction of spatial boundaries, including ones that do not physically impede the act of transgressing. We found that both real and imagined barriers, when placed strategically [between children and a piece of paper with the answers to test questions on it], were able to reduce cheating among 5- to 6-y-olds. . . .


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