The theme comprises two complementary programs focusing on individuals’ relationships with others. The first program investigates how the presence of others influences cognitive and behavioral changes. The second program examines behaviors directed at others that have favorable and unfavorable consequences for these others, for the authors of the behaviors, and for collective functioning. Combining a variety of approaches (social, clinical, statistical modeling), methods, and levels of analysis (individual, group, organizational, cultural), the theme’s objective is to understand how individuals behave in different contexts by examining important social issues: health, environment, digital transition, migrations, intergroup hostility, discrimination, and violence.
Research Program 1: Social influence, change, and behavior
This program focuses on two types of influence processes: those that implicitly or explicitly impact individuals’ beliefs and thereby indirectly affect their behaviors, and, conversely, those that target behaviors and thereby modify individuals’ initial beliefs. Our research will build on numerous earlier studies and draw together theoretical models of change in psychology, sociology, economics, and management sciences to develop an integrative theoretical model of change capable of helping society navigate three major and challenging transformations (digital transition, green transition, generational transition). The program will also follow on from previous work by studying influence processes that promote pro-social behaviors, conflict resolution, therapeutic observance, and compliance with road safety rules. Studies of purchase behaviors and on emerging themes such as overtourism, student well-being, violence against women, and overloading casualty departments are also planned.
Research Program 2: Norms, identities, & deviancies
This program investigates the processes involved in implementing, perceiving, and regulating (social control) norm-governed behaviors and transgressive behaviors toward others (deviance), together with these process’s repercussions on individuals and society. A first area of investigation will cover processes involved in intragroup and intergroup relations, notably the impacts of social identities, ideologies, and cultural norms on integration, tolerance, and rejection behaviors toward members of outgroups and of one’s ingroup. To this end, we will continue earlier studies on the social acceptability of hostile speech and the repercussions of deviance on intragroup and intergroup relations, while extending research on the conditions needed to arouse empathy and their effects on intergroup relations (e.g., welcoming refugees). A second area of study focuses on violence perpetrated and/or experienced in contravention of legal norms. Studies will examine violence perpetrated during adolescence and in institutional incarceration settings, as well as the effects of victimization on refugees’ mental health and the risk of them producing violent behaviors. Studies are also planned to extend previous research on penal sanctions and on the evaluation of prevention, support, and management programs for perpetrators or victims of violence.