Research Paper

Topics: Sociology, Sociological terms, Social psychology Pages: 4 (1211 words) Published: October 25, 2014
Our behavior is influenced by our perceptions of of how other members of our social groups think and act. Social norms focus on peer influences which have a greater impact on individual behavior rather than biological, personality, familial, religious, cultural and other influences (Berkowitz & Perkins, 1986A; Perkins, 2002). Peer influences are based more on what we think our peers believe and do (the "perceived norm") than on their real beliefs and actions (the "actual norm"). This study will explore how the mere presence of others or the perception of their preferences can create a motivation to change one's behavior to conform to the rest of the groups behavior specifically relating to substance abuse.

Social influences look at how individual thoughts, actions, and feelingd are influenced by social groups. Many students feel the pressure by their peers to conform to the groups social norm in order to feel accepted. Fix this. College drinking has become popular among all students throughout college campuses. Students are encouraged to “follow the crowd”. Extensive research has been done on social norms and how it influences behavior People conform to what others do in attempts to feel included. The following literature reviews attempt to support this hypothesis. Research done by (Dipali V. R., Clayton N., 2014) suggests that social norms are among the strongest influences on college drinking (Neighbors, Lee, Lewis, Fossos, & Larimer, 2007). Due to perceived norms, students tend to overestimate the amount of alcohol is being consumed by their peers as well as the frequency of consumption. In a recent study done in the University of Houston, researchers examined whether perceived descriptive norms moderated the relationship between temptation and drinking. The findings were that college students who are higher in temptation drink more and experience more alcohol-related problems when they perceive drinking to be more prevalent among...

References: Dipali V. R., Clayton N., (2014). An experimental study on the effects of peer drinking norms on adolescents ' drinker prototypes. Addictive Behaviors, 39 , 85-93. Retrieved from
Gentile D. A., Tapscott, R. L., (2011). Susceptible to social influence: Risky driving in response to peer pressure. Journal of applied social psycholog, 41, 773-797. Retrieved from PsychARTICLES database.
Moore, C. G., Talbott L. L., & Usdan, S. L. (2012) Social modeling influences and alcohol consumption during the first semster of collge: A natural history study. Journal of Substance Abuse,33:146-155. Retrieved from PsychARTICLES database.
Phua. J., (2011). The influenced of peer norms and popularity on smoking and drinking behavior among college fraternity members: A social network analysis. Psychology Press, 6(3): 153-168. Retrieved from PsychARTICLES database.
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