Social Norms Essay

1835 Words 8 Pages
Register to read the introduction… One refers to norms as widely shared attitudes or expectations about how people in general, or members of particular social group, behave. The term also refers to the most common behavior exhibited in a social group, that is, the statistical average or most typical behavior of group members (Jung 2005).
One important factor in the decision-making process among college students', who choose to drink, is the perception of the social norms. Commonly, people's perceptions of social norms are greatly influenced by vicarious experiences-by what they see, hear, and read-without direct experiential correctives. Because the symbolic environment occupies a major part of people's everyday lives, much of the social construction of reality and shaping of social norm consciousness occurs through electronic acculturation (Jung
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These messages help to create an image of a social norm that may or may not be consistent with the actual values of college students. The more strongly students endorsed self-actualizing values, such as having a sense of accomplishment and self-respect, the less favorable were their attitudes toward both physical and psychological, alcohol-related consequences (Shim 2005).
The "social norm approach" has been the basis of several research studies in regards to problem of college alcohol consumption. Studies suggest that drinking among college students stems from several factors including peer pressure and easy access to alcohol, as well as influence by media and perceived social
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Thombs, PhD, et al conducted a study at Ohio University. An advertisement was placed in high traffic areas such as walkways, dinning tables, flyers, busses, cabinets, athletic departments, and residents' halls. The advertisement was more like a magazine and read, "Thinking About Your Drinking?" with facts about students at other universities that have 4 or fewer drinks at parties and most drink only once a week. A huge part of the whole campaign was to see if students knew what they were even trying to convey in the messages. Only 38.5% knew! When some read the title they though it was an anti-drinking, which it was not (Thombs

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