Welcome to the new National Social Norms Center!

Linking best evidence with practice to promote effective social norms marketing campaigns to improve health on college campuses and beyond.

The National Social Norms Institute has moved! We are now the National Social Norms Center at Michigan State University.

Please excuse our dust as we make this transition and this website is updated over the next few months.

New to social norms? Click here for an overview of the theory & techniques

Keep an eye on our BLOG POSTS for latest information related to social norms

What’s 96,911?

That’s the number of U.S. undergraduate students who participated in the

Spring 2013 National College Health Assessment survey.


Some interesting items came out of that study. Flip over the cards below to see what’s real.

Perception: 5.60

U.S. college students think other students consumed 5.60 drinks the last time they “partied”/socialized


3.58 is the mean number of alcoholic drinks U.S. college students consumed the last time they “partied”/socialized

Perception: 25.1%

College students perceive that 25.1% of their college peers smoke cigarettes daily


The reality is that only 4.0% of college students report that they smoke cigarettes daily

Perception: 7.8%

College students perceive that only 7.8% of their peers have never used marijuana


Actually, 62.0% of college students report that they have never used marijuana

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Instead of using scare tactics or stigmatizing messages, the social norms approach

steers people towards healthy behavior by letting

them know it’s the normal thing to do.

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.

~ Oscar Wilde, writer and poet