Stanford Experts

Benoît Monin

Associate professor of Organizational Behavior in the Graduate School of Business and of Psychology


(650) 723-8081



Professor Monin teaches classes on critical thinking and statistical methods. His research uses social psychological experiments to investigate the interplay among behavior, self-image and social norms, especially in domains that have moral meaning for individuals. Examples of the questions he seeks to answer: How does being good license people to be bad? Why are moral exemplars rejected by their peers? How do people cope with acting selfishly? Why do vegetarians annoy people who eat meat?Why do attractive people look so familiar? The common thread that runs through his various lines of research  is a desire to understand the role of self-image in everyday morality. On his web site, he writes: By “everyday morality,” I refer to mundane behaviors that actors may imbue with moral content (e.g., prejudice, hypocrisy, unsafe sex, personal hygiene), even if they are not prototypical examples of traditional morality.My collaborators and I show in our experiments that how confident people are of their own worth plays a large role in whether they will engage in morally problematic behavior, how they estimate the moral behavior of other people in their community, whether they tolerate the moral exemplarity of others, and even whether they condemn the behavior of others as immoral. Professor Monin has been much quoted about research on Facebook and happiness; and immigrants’ tendency to try to fit in by eating high-calorie American meals.