(SOcial Norms In the Community)
Changing social perception
The social norms approach can be a cost effective way of reaching large numbers of people and having an impact on behaviour across a community.
It’s based on the theory that an individual can easily assume that certain behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol, illegal drug use or even attitudes such as prejudice are much more prevalent in their community than they actually are.
Armed with these false assumptions, individuals could be more likely to follow the crowd and make decisions to take up a particular behaviour simply because it appears to be socially normal (or the social norm) in their community.
For example, heavy drinkers may think that most others consume as much as they do, and may use this belief to justify their behaviour.
Taking a social norms approach means providing communities with the real facts, or the actual norms and using positive promotional techniques to challenge their thinking, benefiting both society and individuals.
If you are interested in finding out more about social norms or commissioning a social norms project email SONIC@leeds.ac.uk