Behavioral Research

Table of Contents
1 Description & Theoretical Background
2 Using Normative Beliefs in Behavior Change Paradigms
3 Measurement and Methodological Issues

Factors that Increase the Importance of Normative Beliefs


Related Concepts

6 References
7 Measures Appendix: A
8 Measures Appendix: B
9 Published Examples

Download Full Text (PDF)

Other Constructs



Dispositional Optimism




Illness Representations

  Implementation Intentions
  Intention, Expectation, and Willingness
  Normative Beliefs
  Optimistic Bias
  Perceived Benefits
  Perceived Control
  Perceived Severity
  Perceived Vulnerability
  Self-Reported Behavior
  Social Influence
  Social Support

Normative Beliefs
David Trafimow

<< Previous


Factors that Increase the Importance of Normative Beliefs

It may happen that a behavior is more under attitudinal than normative control. In this case, if attitudes are amenable to intervention, this would be the most straightforward strategy. However, it may be that attitudes are not amenable to intervention whereas normative beliefs are. Is there a way to increase the importance of normative beliefs? Thus far, there is support in the literature for two ways.

Group identification
Terry and Hogg (1996) performed an elegant demonstration that norms have a stronger influence when people identify strongly with their group (as long as the group identification is salient). Thus, if one wishes to intervene on a normative level, it may be useful to find out the group or groups with which the person strongly identifies. As long as the group norms are consistent with the direction of the intervention, increasing the salience of this group membership is likely to help push the person in that direction.

Priming the collective self
Trafimow and Finlay (1996) speculated that the influence of norms could be increased by priming the collective self (the location in memory that contains thoughts about group membership). Ybarra and Trafimow (1998) tested this speculation by priming the private or collective self and then measured attitudes, norms, and intentions to use a condom during sexual intercourse. Compared to when the private self was primed, the influence of norms was substantially augmented when the collective self was primed. Thus, this research suggests that the influence of normative beliefs on behavior can be augmented if the collective self is primed.

<< Previous

Search | Help | Contact Us | Accessibility | Privacy Policy

DCCPSNational Cancer Institute Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health

Health Behavior Constructs: Theory, Measurement, & Research  You can Quit smoking Now!