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Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights$
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Ryan Goodman, Derek Jinks, and Andrew K. Woods

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371895.001.0001

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The Psychology of Social Norms and the Promotion of Human Rights

The Psychology of Social Norms and the Promotion of Human Rights

(p.23) 2 The Psychology of Social Norms and the Promotion of Human Rights
Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights

Deborah A. Prentice

Oxford University Press

In Chapter 2, social psychologist Deborah Prentice describes her empirical work on social-norms marketing campaigns. Prentice highlights two key empirical findings: (1) actors often overestimate the prevalence of many undesirable behaviors, and (2) actors use their perceptions of peer norms as a standard against which to compare their own behaviors. Social-norms campaigns reduce problem behaviors (or increase desirable behaviors) by conveying information that counters this “pluralistic ignorance”.

Keywords:   social norms, pluralistic ignorance, descriptive norms, injunctive norms, binge drinking, cascade, tipping point

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