The Social Norms Approach is a prevention strategy that corrects misperceptions of risky behaviors and focuses on the healthy behaviors that already exist in groups. Research shows that most people overestimate risky or unhealthy habits and under-perceive normative healthy behaviors, and that decreasing the over-perception of unhealthy or risky behaviors improves health outcomes.
This session explored the fundamental principles and key concepts behind the social norms approach as well as a process that attendees could use in their own communities to uncover and promote the positive norms that already exist.
Learning objectives for Session 1 included:
-Describe the Social Norms Approach
-List elements of an effective social norms process
-Identify the data needed to build a social norms campaign
Lauri Solomon is a training and technical assistance specialist with the Education Development Center. She has more than 25 years' experience in public health working on a variety of initiatives including the prevention of substance misuse, sexually transmitted infections, and teen pregnancy. Lauri has been providing technical assistance and training on the application of the social norms approach since 1999. She also holds a doctorate in social justice education and works to bring an equity lens to all aspects of her work.