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Colligate B - Pat Kelly Will Passidomo Greg Sullivan...

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Pat Kelly October 7 th 2008 Will Passidomo Social Psychology Greg Sullivan Prof. Whitney Reactance Theory, Social Norms and Impact on Colligate Alcohol Consumption The very serious problem of collegiate binge drinking across America has not showed any signs of slowing down over the past few years. Norms that are identified and associated with the heavy use of alcohol during the college years are believed influence such heavy alcohol use amongst college students. Social norms affect everyone whether we are aware of it or not. For college students, with the stress of wanting to fit and find a group of friends, the affects of social norms are even greater. Social norms will determine whether an individual’s specific actions, attitudes or belief’s are approved or disapproved by the individual’s social group. College students are aware that drinking occurs on campuses across the nation, but for many the social norm of college drinking as a whole doesn’t affect them as much as the norm within their specific group of friends. Some groups of students would say it is the norm to average around 20 drinks in one weekend night, while others may only have 4 or 5 drinks that same night. The influence of social norms have shown to be more frequent within specific groups of friends opposed to a campus wide idea how With college drinking, there doesn’t seem to be one social norm amongst all college stu- dents. For example, there is no schema of the “typical college student” that can be used to justify a social norm of all the students of a campus. Studies have shown that the norm perceived by a college student is not based on the campus itself, but the people that person interacts with. A study conducted by Hyunyi Cho showed that it is difficult to say what the norm for a “typical college student” is because members of one social group will interact differently than
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those of another social group. The study was a cross-sectional survey of undergraduate students in the mid-west. The study touched topics such as norm proximity, norm types, and college drinker types (frequent binge drinkers, occasional binge drinkers, and non-binge drinkers). Cho found that due to the social identification theory, the norm for college students is dictated by the groups to which they belong. Because there are so many different groups, “in- formation on what the ‘typical student’ does may be easier to dismiss than the norms of a more relevant group”[CITATION]. With this knowledge, it was noted that a more relevant source for finding the social norm would be their group of friends. When a student is with a close knit circle of friends, the norms of those friends will be of greater influence than those of the entire campus that they are on. Cho also discovered that there are two types of norms at work.
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Colligate B - Pat Kelly Will Passidomo Greg Sullivan...

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