UBU LogoOne of our environmental strategies includes developing a positive community norms campaign which we will call our UBU (You Be You) campaign. Over the past year we have been working on laying the foundation for this campaign. The campaign is based on social norms theory – that much of people’s behavior is influenced by their perceptions of what is “normal” or “typical.” The problem is that we often severely misperceive the typical behaviors or attitudes of our peers. For example, if students believe that the majority of their peers are drinking alcohol, then they are more likely to drink alcohol. Using positive community norms to inform students that the majority of their peers do not drink alcohol, can lead them change their behavior.

We will be working to close the gap between what students believe other students are doing and what other students “ARE” actually doing in order to reduce youth alcohol use.

Linkenbach, J.W. (1999). Application of social norms marketing to a variety of health issues. Wellness Management, 15(3).