Immediate reductions in misperceived social norms among high-risk college student groups

Joseph W. LaBrie, Justin F. Hummer, Sean Grant, Andrew Lac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The current quasi-experimental design evaluated whether a brief, live, interactive, normative group (BLING) intervention produced immediate reductions in group-specific normative perceptions and whether the magnitude of these misperceptions differed among three at risk undergraduate populations: first-year students (N=767), Greek-affiliated students (N=555), and student-athletes (N=524). In a live group setting, participants used wireless keypads to enter in normative perceptions of their group's drinking levels, followed by their own actual drinking behaviors. Feedback data illustrating the discrepancies between perceived and actual norms were then presented graphically on a large screen. Across all groups at pre-intervention, respondents reported significantly higher perceived group-specific norms than actual alcohol use, with magnitude of initial misperceptions varying by group. The BLING intervention was equally effective in immediately correcting normative misperceptions among all three groups regardless of gender or the magnitude of initial misperception. These data further validate the ability of live normative group-specific data-collection and feedback to overcome saliency and credibility issues exhibited by many existing social norms interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1094-1101
Number of pages8
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • College students
  • Intervention
  • Normative feedback
  • Social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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