Social Norms National Research & Resources





















Welcome to the
Social Norms National Research & Resources Web Site

The Social Norms Approach

The social norms approach to preventing problem behavior and promoting and reinforcing positive behavior, put simply, is to dispel the myths about the problem being the norm among peers. It starts with gathering credible data from a population and identifying the actual norms regarding the attitudes and behavior of concern. Then a social norms intervention intensively communicates the truth through media campaigns, interactive programs, personalized normative feedback, and other educational venues. Evidence has shown youth and adults responding to these initiatives with more realistic perceptions of positive peer norms lead to decreases in problem behavior and increases in positive behavior in the population.

This site is one of several interrelated projects promoting social norms education and research:

  • -- a broad collection of education and research initiatives designed to better inform students and college personnel about alcohol and other drugs and related social norms and address problems of abuse.
  • -- project initiatives promoting health and well being among youthful populations
  • -- online survey tools for implementing and assessing social norms interventions
  • -- (this site) a collection of research and resources to support the application of the social norms approach in a variety of settings.

These sites are created and maintained by faculty at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in collaboration with other professionals nationwide.