Why False Beliefs Sustain Corruption

Raj Patel explains that when people are systematically mistaken about what other people think this can sustain a practice and make collective action harder.

Explainer Video Published 21 January 2019 Updated 30 September 2020 3 minute watch

Why False Beliefs Sustain Corruption

Raj Navanit Patel

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Raj talks about how surveying social norms can expose assumptions among individuals that certain behaviours are widely accepted, whereas in reality acceptance is low. Challenging these false beliefs can hugely improve the impact of collective action in changing behaviour.

He also outlines how societal change can happen quickly (within a single generation) because enough people’s values change at once or there is a realization that a majority within society feel the same way about certain behaviours.