The Constructive, Destructive, and Reconstructive Power of Social Norms

  title={The Constructive, Destructive, and Reconstructive Power of Social Norms},
  author={P. W. Schultz and Jessica M. Nolan and R. Cialdini and N. Goldstein and Vladas Griskevicius},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={429 - 434}
  • P. W. Schultz, Jessica M. Nolan, +2 authors Vladas Griskevicius
  • Published 2007
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Psychological Science
  • Despite a long tradition of effectiveness in laboratory tests, normative messages have had mixed success in changing behavior in field contexts, with some studies showing boomerang effects. To test a theoretical account of this inconsistency, we conducted a field experiment in which normative messages were used to promote household energy conservation. As predicted, a descriptive normative message detailing average neighborhood usage produced either desirable energy savings or the undesirable… CONTINUE READING
    2,433 Citations

    Topics from this paper

    Paper Mentions

    Interventional Clinical Trial
    The study aims: 1. To test the effect of providing social comparison information on increasing physical activity among Singaporean adolescents. 2. To test whether… Expand
    ConditionsPhysical Activity
    InterventionBehavioral, Device
    The Constructive, Destructive, and Reconstructive Power of Social Norms: Reprise
    • 51
    • PDF
    The Dark Side of Positive Social Influence Completed Research Paper
    • Highly Influenced
    Energizing and De-Motivating Effects of Norm-Conflict
    • 57
    • Highly Influenced
    • PDF
    Putting text in context: the conflict between pro-ecological messages and anti-ecological descriptive norms.
    • 28
    • PDF
    Social norms and pro-environmental behavior: A review of the evidence
    • 155
    • PDF


    A failed norms social marketing campaign.
    • 112
    Done 4: Analysis of a Failed Social Norms Marketing Campaign
    • 45
    • PDF
    Crafting Normative Messages to Protect the Environment
    • 1,125
    • PDF
    Social influence: compliance and conformity.
    • 3,167
    • PDF
    Descriptive and injunctive norms in college drinking: a meta-analytic integration.
    • 997
    Attitudes and persuasion.
    • 644
    • PDF