Social Norms Theory Analysis

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Social Norms Theory Intervention
(Background)
An analysis of Perkins and Berkowitz (1986) showed their approach using social norms theory worked in reducing binge drinking. Social norm theory would suggest that students consume alcohol in college and university in attempts to “fit in” (Perkins & Berkowitz, 1986). Many students have misperceptions on the drinking norms among their peers, but will use this perception to guide their behaviours and attitude towards drinking (Glider et. al, 2001). There are beliefs of greater acceptance when following social norms (Glider et al., 2001). Haines and Spear (1996) developed a campaign using social norm theory to decrease the number of students partaking in binge drinking. The study took place over 5
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This may be attributed to the idea that students think drinking behaviour among students is more prevalent than it is. (re word this). Interestingly, findings indicated that changing perceptions on norms of binge drinking (done so by specific campaigns to change perception) decreased those who self reported as binge drinkers (Haines & Spear, 1996). Similarly, Glider et al. (2001) reported an increased positive perception of alcohol-free activities among students (Glider et al., 2001). Both interventions proved successful in multiple aspects. The binge drinking rates decreased overall. The students who reported an increase in alcohol use in the past year also dropped (Glider et al., 2001). Glider et al. (2001) also reported a significant decrease in negative consequences associated with alcohol…show more content…
In it’s essence, it occurs when an individual assumes their privately held beliefs are fundamentally different from the views of those around them, and thus act in accordance with this false perception (Cite). When examining the drinking behaviours of college age students, Schroeder and Prentice (1998) found sufficient evidence to argue that social processes play a role in promoting certain behaviours (i.e. binge drinking). Their research further led to the discovery of inconsistencies with these same students’ attitudes towards drinking, their perception of their peers’ attitudes, and their actual self reported behaviours and habits. This work builds off of many previous studies, including the work of Prentice and Miller (1993) which found students, in their first to fourth year of study, rated themselves as less comfortable than the average student, and less comfortable than their friends with drinking on campus. With this evidence in mind, Schroeder and Prentice (1998) chose to focus the development of an intervention targeting pluralistic ignorance, or rather exposing it and helping individuals become aware of shared perceptions of drinking on

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