Social Norms

I thought it might be helpful to gather together some of the resources and thinking we’ve come across around social norms theory and practice.  Feel free to add any resources you think may be of interest should you come across them.

wrote up my notes of the lecture given at Coram by Professor Wes Perkins in 2011.  He suggested there were a number of rules about presenting social norms messages:

  • Firstly, the production values don’t need to be high.
  • Second, the more ‘doses’ of the information people get the better.
  • Third, use as many outlets as you can – posters, radio, website, newsletters etc..
  • Fourth, make sure to tell the reader/listener where the information comes from (and the more local the better) as this builds credibility.
  • Fifth, don’t undermine your positive health message.
  • Sixth, mix up norms that are about behaviour (4 out of 5 young people in Scotland don’t take drugs – source SALSUS 2010) with ones about beliefs (7 out of 10 young people in Scotland don’t think it is okay to get drunk to see what it is like – source SALSUS 2010).

Here’s a video of Wes talking about his work.

Below is a presentation from Dr John MacAlaney, of Bradford University, which was delivered to a Drug Education Forum seminar.  John is also the author of a guide for implementing the approach in the UK.

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