Dr. Fabian Winter

Head of Max Planck Research Group "Mechanisms of Normative Change"
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+49 228 91416-857
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Why is it that some norms are unexpectedly stable up to a tipping point, like homophobia in football, but change rapidly once they start to do so? Or why, in contrast, are the normative conflicts about gender equality so persistent? And what stabilizes revenge norms even after effective legal orders have been established? Apparently, social and legal norms are not made for eternity. At any point in time, old norms erode and new norms emerge. Yet, normative change is often eruptive. And norms can be sticky, even if they almost completely lack societal support. The Research Group "Mechanisms of Normative Change" studies the mechanisms determining these different dynamics of normative change from an interdisciplinary perspective. We aim to contribute to the understanding and management of social change using a broad range of experimental and non-experimental empirical methods.

Key Publications

Winter F., Fairness Norms Can Explain the Emergence of Specific Cooperation Norms in the Battle of the Prisoner's Dilemma, Journal of Mathematical Sociology, pp. 302-320, 2014. Link

Winter F., Kataria M., Third Party Assessments in Trust Problems with Conflict of Interest: An Experiment on the Effects of Promises, Economics Letters, vol. 120, no. 1, pp. 53-56, 2013.

Winter F., Rauhut H., Helbing D., How norms can generate conflict: An experiment on the failure of cooperative micro-motives on the macro-level, Social Forces, vol. 90, no. 3, pp. 919-948, 2012. Link

Winter F., Rauhut H., On the Validity of Laboratory Research in the Political and Social Sciences. The Example of Crime and Punishment, Experimental Political Science. Practice and Principles, Kittel B., Luhan W., Morton R., (Eds.): Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 209–232, 2012. Link

Winter F., Rauhut H., A Sociological Perspective on Measuring Social Norms by Means of Strategy Method Experiments, Social Science Research, vol. 39, pp. 1181-1194, 2010. Link