Using Electronic Media in Social Norms Campaigns to Promote Health

David W. Craig, Ph.D., Dept. of Chemistry, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

H. Wesley Perkins, Ph.D., Dept. of Anthropology/Sociology, Hobart & William Smith Colleges


Reducing misperceptions and emphasizing existing positive norms in student communities are effective in promoting healthy behaviors. Electronic media can be very efficient and cost effective in this type of "social norms" approach by 1) reaching individuals in their daily work, 2) providing instantaneous deployment of campaign messages with audio and video, and 3) allowing for automated collection of campaign exposure data. Innovative screensavers, interactive PC programs, and web-based communication media designed to communicate accurate and healthy norms will be demonstrated.