Media Effects on Social Groups

1829 WordsMay 8, 20068 Pages
Drinking in college is portrayed in the media as a social norm and heavily encouraged by advertisements such as commercials directed at students, flyers dispersed throughout campuses, and even coupons for local bars found in student newspapers. Given that alcohol consumption is known to increase throughout adolescence and climax in late adolescence or emerging adulthood, heavy episodic alcohol use among college students makes this period crucially important to the etiology of adult alcohol abuse (Shim 2005). The decision-making perspective suggests that adolescents make rational, goal-oriented decisions to drink, decisions that occur in a series of steps involving the identification and assessment of the desirability and the likelihood of…show more content…
Compared to the traditionally favored macho image of binge drinkers, it seems important to debunk the myth that heavy drinkers are cool, because health-related information does not necessarily deter youths from taking up the aversive habit (Jung 2005). Given the consistency with which social–hedonic values, goals, or similar concepts predict college students' drinking consumption, one might argue that hedonic values have central importance during this developmental period. In fact, there is evidence that younger people tend to endorse the value of excitement more highly than older people do (Shim 2005). College students commonly believe that their peers engage in higher levels of dangerous drinking than is actually the case, which may lead to greater perceived normative pressure to drink (Russell 2005). Misperceived drinking norms are vied as important risk factors that instigate alcohol misuse. The most common type of misperception is when nondrinkers and moderate drinkers (as a majority of students on most campuses are) falsely assume that their fellow students drink more than they actually do. Another misconception among the heavy drinkers is that no one can drink as much as they do. Heavy drinkers rely on this norm to justify their own behavior (Thombs 2004). Investigating how people perceive social cues in ads would provide useful information regarding
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