Social Norms

Have you seen our posters around campus? These are examples of our social norms marketing campaigns.

You may have wondered about the CROSSROADS posters and merchandise with statistics about UNCW students or heard us say "Most students have 0 to 5 when they party." The social norms approach of reducing students’ binge drinking, developed by Alan Berkowitz, PhD. and used widely around the country, seeks to correct students’ misperception of alcohol use by their fellow students. Typically, students mistakenly believe that other students are drinking more than is actually the case. As a result, according to the social norms theory, the typical student drinks more than he/she might otherwise in order to meet this “perceived norm.” UNCW collects data about student behavior and then, as part of our overall efforts to reduce binge drinking among students, we use this collected data to more accurately portray the "true norm" of substance use. Which is that most students make healthy decisions!

Here are the true UNCW norms:

Find more statistics about UNCW students here.

Where does that data come from?

CROSSROADS gathers this data in our annual surveys with representative random sample of UNCW students.

Here's a vintage social norms poster from 2004:

N the Know Flier for UNCW Substance Abuse Prevention


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