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Practical matters How to find us Z. (Žan) Mlakar, MSc

Z. (Žan) Mlakar, MSc

PhD Candidate, Department of Marketing


Project 1 - The role of anonymity in social convention change

Informal social conventions guide a big part of human behaviour and social processes. Past research has found that social conventions tend to remain stable over long periods of time and then suddenly explosively change. In this project, I investigate a situation of convention change, wherein a change process is induced by a committed dissenting minority. Specifically, I focus on the role of anonymity and propose that the sense of anonymity liberates people from social concerns that normally constrain individual change, facilitating the adoption of a novel convention that is being enforced by a minority. Using a novel group experimental paradigm and accompanying agent-based model I show that new conventions are indeed adopted faster when individuals in a group are granted some degree of anonymity.

Project 2 – Consistency as an impression-guided motive

Consistency has long been established as a strong motive guiding individual behaviour. Traditionally, it was understood primarily as a result of an internal strive to maintain a coherent view of oneself and avoid cognitive dissonance – a state of great affective discomfort. However, following some recent calls in the literature, I examine whether consistent behaviour might be better understood as arising from individual strive for making a good impression on others. Specifically, I propose that consistent behaviour signals to others that an individual is not someone erratic, but a credible, reliable, and trustworthy individual. Based on this conceptualisation, I plan to investigate how others perceive individuals who behave consistently, how those individuals see their own consistent behaviour, and how individuals strategically utilise consistent behaviour for signalling desired personal qualities.

Last modified:25 June 2022 3.56 p.m.