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Sustainability Campaign: Social Norms Marketing vs Community Based Social Marketing

Sharon Akimoto, Carleton College
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This activity is for a Social Psychology class, during a segment on Social Influence. Students are should have read an intro textbook chapter on this topic prior to engaging in this activity.

Prior to class, students read articles and consider discussion questions on social norms marketing, community based social marketing, and social influence. During class, groups will be assigned to one of several sustainability/pro-environment topics for which they will design a long range and broad based campaign for behavior change.

My hope is that by examining the readings first (some of which pertain to health or other non-environment behaviors), students will be better equipped to design a more effective campaign that specifically targets sustainable behaviors.

Learning Goals

This activity promotes critical thinking of the application of research findings, both between topics (health vs environment) and between contexts (research vs real world). It is hoped that students will sharpen their understanding of the strengths and limitations of the research when applying to real world issues.

Context for Use

Undergraduate Social Psychology courses, during the module on Social Influence. 30 students, broken down into smaller groups of 4-5. The in-class portion can be conducted within a 1 hour period, including time to share ideas with the rest of the class.

Description and Teaching Materials

Assignment handout plus, 3 articles around which the assignment is based.
assignment handout (Microsoft Word 37kB Nov13 09)
Cialdini article (Acrobat (PDF) 391kB Nov13 09)
McKenzie Mohr article (Acrobat (PDF) 166kB Nov13 09)
Suls and Green article (Acrobat (PDF) 238kB Nov13 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips


References and Resources