Crafting Normative Messages to Protect the Environment

  title={Crafting Normative Messages to Protect the Environment},
  author={Robert B. Cialdini},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  pages={105 - 109}
  • R. Cialdini
  • Published 1 August 2003
  • Psychology
  • Current Directions in Psychological Science
It is widely recognized that communications that activate social norms can be effective in producing societally beneficial conduct. Not so well recognized are the circumstances under which normative information can backfire to produce the opposite of what a communicator intends. There is an understandable, but misguided, tendency to try to mobilize action against a problem by depicting it as regrettably frequent. Information campaigns emphasize that alcohol and drug use is intolerably high… Expand

Figures from this paper

Applying (and Resisting) Peer Influence
Scholars of various kinds long have documented the great degree to which people are influenced by similar others. Indeed, the opinions, experiences and behaviors of friends, neighbors and coworkersExpand
How social norms are often a barrier to addressing climate change but can be part of the solution
Abstract We argue that the behavioral challenges posed by climate change are fundamentally problems of social influence. Behaviors that perpetuate climate change are often opaque in theirExpand
Exposure to the Pope's Climate Change Message Activated Convinced Americans to Take Certain Activism Actions
Analysis of Pope Francis' climate change encyclical, Laudato Sí, and subsequent visit to the United States suggests that sustained exposure to compelling climate messages from trusted sources can increase the performance of activism behaviors. Expand
Public Communication as a Tool to Implement Environmental Policies
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our times. We humans must change our behavior in the short run to mitigate the effects of climate change in the long run. Policymakers developExpand
Witnessing school bullying: to react or not to react? An insight into perceived social norms regulating self-predicted defending and passive behaviours
Abstract There is a growing interest in the factors influencing bystanders’ interventions in school-bullying. However, perceived social norms, beliefs about what others do (perceived descriptiveExpand
Social norms to motivate IT use
Current IT implementations do not realize the expected benefits. One of the major barriers for realizing these benefits are low adoption and underutilization of newly implemented IT systems. ThereExpand
Moral commitment: Does it reduce or enhance the response to social norms? Evidence from an experiment on earnings management
Social norms play a powerful role in guiding managerial behavior. For example, prior work has established the power of injunctive (prescriptive) norms in areas where views on what is right and wrongExpand
Correcting injunctive norm misperceptions motivates behavior change: a randomized controlled sun protection intervention.
  • Allecia E. Reid, L. Aiken
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
  • 2013
The utility of correcting injunctive norm misperceptions for promoting healthy behaviors is demonstrated and a method for influencing attitudes that may limit reactance is suggested. Expand
The Effects of Messages on Environmental Behavior
Miki Yoshimura-Rank* Department of Environmental Science * Faculty Advisors: Dr. Judith Bramble and Dr. James Montgomery, Department of Environmental Science and Studies Completed: Spring QuarterExpand
Recent studies have suggested that crime-prevention strategies tend to interact with characteristics of the community in such a way that what works in one community might not work in another. In thisExpand


A focus theory of normative conduct: Recycling the concept of norms to reduce littering in public places.
Past research has generated mixed support among social scientists for the utility of social norms in accounting for human behavior. We argue that norms do have a substantial impact on human action;Expand
A Focus Theory of Normative Conduct: When Norms Do and Do not Affect Behavior
In three experiments, respondents’ behavior conformed to the dictates of a relevant norm (the norm against littering) only under conditions of normative focus. This relationship held true acrossExpand
New Ways to Promote Proenvironmental Behavior: The Application of Persuasion Theory to the Development Of Effective Proenvironmental Public Service Announcements
The goal of this article is to provide specific guidelines to help create effective proenvironmental public service announcements (PSAs). Campaigndesigners are encouraged to initially identify andExpand
The Application of Persuasion Theory to the Development Of Effective Proenvironmental Public Service Announcements
The goal of this article is to provide specific guidelines to help create effective proenvironmental public service announcements (PSAs). Campaign designers are encouraged to initially identify andExpand
Changing Behavior With Normative Feedback Interventions: A Field Experiment on Curbside Recycling
This field experiment increased the frequency of curbside recycling among community residents using feedback interventions that targeted personal and social norms. My team of researchers observedExpand
A room with a viewpoint : Using normbased appeals to motivate conservation behaviors in a hotel setting
  • 2005
Activating and aligning social norms for persuasive impact
  • Social Influence . [ As of October
  • 2005
Activating and aligning social norms for persuasive impact
  • 2003
Crafting normative messages to protect the environment
  • Current Directions in Psychological Science
  • 2003
The fifty greatest TV commercials of all time
  • TV Guide
  • 1999