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Downloadable Publications : Interviews Describing Social Norms Approach : Edited Volume of Social Norms Case Studies : Major Sites Providing Social Norms Resources


Brief Introductory Articles

Perkins, H. Wesley, 2006. "A Brief Summary of Social Norms Theory and the Approach to Promoting Health." A one page summary of the Social Norms approach.

Perkins, H. Wesley. 1995. "Prevention through Correcting Misperceptions of Alcohol and Other Drug Norms: Notes on the State of the Field." Catalyst (A Publication of The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention and the U.S. Department of Education). Vol. 1, No.3, pp. 1-2 (2 pages).

Reviews of State of the Field

Perkins, H. Wesley. 2014. "Misperception is Reality: The "Reign of Error" About Peer Risk Behaviour Norms Among Youth and Young Adults." In Xenitidou, M. and B. Edmonds. (Eds.) The Complexity of Social Norms, Computational Social Sciences. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 11-36. (order from Springer books , abstract)

Perkins, H. Wesley and Perkins, Jessica M. 2018. "Using the Social Norms Approach to Promote Health and Reduce Risk among College Students.." In Cemini, D. and Rivero, D. (Eds.) Promoting Behavioral Health and Reducing Risk among College Students: A Comprehensive Approach. New York, NY: Routledge. (order from Routledge, abstract)

Guide to Marketing Social Norms for Health Promotion in Schools and Communities.

A comprehensive and practical guidebook authored by Michael Haines, H. Wesley Perkins, Richard Rice and Gregory Barker published by the National Social Norms Resource Center Center in 2004. This guidebook gives a theoretical overview as well as step by step tasks for implementing a social norms marketing intervention in high school and community settings. (104 pages)

College Social Norms Case StudyGo to: Social Norms Case Study

The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention released a new publication by H. Wesley Perkins, and David W. Craig, titled "A Multifaceted Social Norms Approach to Reduce High-Risk Drinking: Lessons from Hobart and William Smith Colleges." This work provides a detailed example of coordinated social norms strategies producing positive results confirmed with extensive evaluation measures (36 pages).

Theory Chapter Explaining Social Norms Model

Perkins, H. Wesley. 1997. "College Student Misperceptions of Alcohol and Other Drug Norms among Peers: Exploring Causes, Consequences, and Implications for Prevention Programs." Pp. 177-206 in Designing Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Programs in Higher Education. Newton, MA: The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, U.S. Department of Education (30 pages).

Article Explaining Methods and Pitfalls of Intervention Assessment

Perkins, H. Wesley. 2005. "Critical Concerns for Evaluating Social Norms Interventions with Survey Data." in The Social Norms Review, Volume 1 No. 1, pp. 1-6. National Social Norms Resource Center.

2002 Review of College Literature

Perkins, H. Wesley. 2002. "Social Norms and the Prevention of Alcohol Misuse in Collegiate Contexts." Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Supplement No. 14, pp. 164-172 (9 pages).

Strategies for Media Advocacy

Linkenbach, Jeff, et al. 2002. The Main Frame: Strategies for Generating Social Norms News (46 pages).



  • Professor H. Wesley Perkins interviewed for High Truths on Drugs and Addiction, a podcast hosted by Dr. Roneet Lev, an emergency room and addiction physician who was previously a White house advisor. Dr. Lev interviewed Perkins about social norms theory and his work addressing misperceived norms as a risk prevention strategy among youth and young adults. The podcast (#123) was first aired on April 30, 2023.
    (High Truths on Drugs and Addiction Episode #123)
  • Video released providing short (9 minute) overview of the social norms approach to health promotion. Interview conducted at a social norms master class in Darlington, England (2009). If you want to watch the video on YouTube, click directly on the photo. If you want to download the video, click here for the WMV VIDEO or MOV VIDEO file. (Quicktime MOV files may take several minutes to download on some computers).


  • H. Wesley Perkins was interviewed by Andrew Svec of KROX radio (University of Minnesota, Crookston) for a 12 minute “Insights” program aired on November 1, 2003 where he discussed the social norms approach and his recent edited book. Listen to the interview.
    You must have RealPlayer or compatible software to play this audio. (Click here for RealPlayer download)
  • CNN news video on the social norms approach at HWS. (MOV video)



Perkins, H. Wesley (Editor). 2003. The Social Norms Approach to Preventing School and College Age Substance Abuse: A Handbook for Educators, Counselors, and Clinicians. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Click here for book contents and publisher ordering information.



Alcohol Education Project - Hobart and William Smith Colleges' model program site with extensive resources to addrress alcohol misuse in middle school, high school, university, and community settings throughout the United States and internationally (

Social Norms Surveys Online - Hobart and William Smith Colleges' survey resources for social norms data collection regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, bullying and violence, academic engagement, and other issues of health and well being in secondary school and higher education environments (

Youth Health Safety Project - Hobart and William Smith Colleges' project focusing on secondary school populations applying social norms to prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, bullying and violence, and promoting academic engagement, and other issues of health and well being (

National Social Norms Institute- The NSNI was established by the University of Virginia in 2006. Its mission is to conduct ongoing research into the effectiveness of social norms methodology to combat high-risk drinking among students; the purpose of the institute is to research, evaluate, and disseminate information on the social norms methodology to the field (

Social Norms National Research and Resources - Hobart and William Smith Colleges' collection of research and resources to support the application of the social norms approach in a variety of settings and health issues (

The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention - A page from the website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education including resources for creating a healthy normative environment (Create a Health-Promoting Normative Environment)

European Social Norms Institute - A page founded to advance the theory and implementation of the social norms approach across Europe (

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