Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work
Date and Time:
Feb 24 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Note: Event start time is Central Time (CT).



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Robert Frank, Ph.D.

H. J. Louis Professor Emeritus of Management and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management

David Wallace-Wells

Editor-at-large at New York magazine and author of The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work

Activism | Advice | Behavior | Business | Character | Choice | Climate Change | Community | Conservation | Culture | Economics | Entrepreneurship | Ethical Consumption | Ethics | Family | Health | History | Inequality | Innovation | Journalism | Leadership | Public Health | Public Policy | Science | Social Justice | Sociology | Stress | Technology | Transformation | Well Being | Youth

BONUS AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of Under the Influence from FAN’s partner bookseller The Book Stall are invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Prof. Frank that will start immediately after the webinar. Details on the webinar registration page.

Psychologists have long understood that social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. But social influence is a two-way street—our environments are themselves products of our behavior. In his fascinating 2021 book Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work, Cornell University professor Robert Frank, Ph.D. explains how to unlock the latent power of social context. It reveals how our environments encourage smoking, bullying, tax cheating, sexual predation, problem drinking, and wasteful energy use. We are building bigger houses, driving heavier cars, and engaging in a host of other activities that threaten the planet—mainly because of the forces of social contagion — what friends and neighbors do has enormous influence over our own choices.

In the wake of the hottest years on record, only robust measures to curb greenhouse gases promise relief from more frequent and intense storms, droughts, flooding, wildfires, and famines. Prof. Frank describes how the strongest predictor of our willingness to support climate-friendly policies, install solar panels, or buy an electric car is the number of people we know who have already done so. In the face of stakes that could not be higher, the book explains how we could redirect trillions of dollars annually in support of carbon-free energy sources, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone.

Prof. Frank is the H. J. Louis Professor of Management Emeritus at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. He has been an “Economic View” columnist for the New York Times for more than a decade. His many books include The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good; The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas; and Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of the Meritocracy.

Prof. Frank will be in conversation with David Wallace-Wells, editor-at-large at New York magazine and author of the acclaimed 2019 New York Times bestseller The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming.

This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available on our website and YouTube channel.