Attempts to use social norms marketing to change behaviour have had mixed success. Drawing on empirical research and psychological theory discuss when and how social norms marketing has been successful (or not) in changing behaviour.
"A norm is like any other psychological phenomena, a construct that has widerspread use age because it helps describe and explain human behaviour" Cialdini & Trost (1998: 151).
'Social norms are rules and standards that are understood by members of a group, they identity belief systems about our perceptions of how or not to behave. They are used to guide behaviour without the force of laws' Prislin & Wood (2008). Social norms help us to apprehend uneasiness. They attribute to our judge ment of how…show more content… Goldstein's study highlights the fact that destructive norms are useful in social norms marketing.
Social norms marketing has been seen successful in reducing alcohol consumptions. Prochaska et al (2004) found that their multi-level intervention reduced binge drinking, police complaints and admissions for alcohol poisoning. Neighbours (2004) study on descriptive norms and the effiancy of a computer delivered personalised norms feedback intervention on reducing levels of alcohol consumption. Neighbours used 252 students who were assigned with either a personal norm feedback treatment or no treatment at all. They were asked to answer questions on their own alcohol level consumption and their own opinion of alcohol consumption on other students. Later they were given an onscreen feedback on how much they drank and how much other students actually drank.
Results showed that there was a reductions in binge drinking within 3-6 months after the intervention. This highlights an advantage of social norms marketing as being successful in changing behaviour long term. However the intervention used was a self report technique. Participants answered questions which could result in social desirable answers leading to bias.
However these studies can be criticised by their cross cultural differences. As we can see the studies above are all American based Universities/Colleges therefore its not certain that if the same studies were carried