Mission Statement

The mission of the National Social Norms Center (NSNC) is to:

    • advance the social norms approach to effective health promotion by offering resources, research, and education; and
    • identify normative health care utilization patterns of college students.


The NSNC was established at Michigan State University in 2016 through a gift from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation, which continues to provide funding for NSNC and for social norms grantee programs at ten universities across the United States. The NSNC was previously known as the National Social Norms Insitute (NSNI), which was established in 2006 at the University of Virginia, also through funding provided by the Anheuser-Busch Foundation.

The NSNC is proud to be affiliated with the following universities that develop and implement social norms campaigns to promote safer behaviors related to alcohol:

Florida State University                                                       University of Central Washington
Georgetown University                                                        University of Hawaii
University of Kansas                                                             University of Texas at Austin
Michigan State University                                                    University of Virginia
Radford University                                                                Virginia Commonwealth University


The NSNC provides both limited free consultation and more extensive fee-based consultation and assistance for schools, communities and organizations interested in designing, implementing or evaluating a social norms intervention. We can offer brief programmatic and statistical consultations via telephone and email. We provide a variety of more comprehensive consultations, typically designed to suit the unique needs and resources of the requesting organization. Some examples include:

Data and evaluation issues:

    • Incorporating qualitative and quantitative strategies into evaluation design
    • Use of a logic model for program planning and evaluation
    • Design of paper and electronic surveys
    • Sampling strategies, including design of a sampling frame based on stratified random sampling, over-sampling to account for response pattern differences, strategies to maximize response rate
    • Data analysis and interpretation

Consultation and collaboration related to program issues:

    • Appropriate involvement of audience in campaign design
    • Critique of design materials
    • Campaign timing, market penetration and saturation issues

On-site training workshops and presentations on social norms theory, strategies, evidence of effectiveness and program evaluation