We are the Florida Center for Prevention Research, and one of our specialties is conducting social norms initiatives such as The Real Project.
The Real Project is one of many of Florida State University’s Healthy Campus 2020 alcohol abuse prevention programs. FSU and its campus and community partners have developed a model of integrated strategies (individual, campus-based and community based) which are designed to create and support a low-risk environment. Since 2002, the FSU model has proven its ability to promote positive norms, reduce harmful misperceptions, increase protective behaviors and reduce or hold constant the rates of alcohol consumption.
This social norms initiative seeks to correct misperceptions about student alcohol use. Many people perceive a higher level of alcohol use and abuse among FSU students than is the case. We collect and broadcast factual information in order to promote healthy behaviors that accurately reflect what’s really going in a population, or the “norm.”
The Real Project has used social norms to combat alcohol abuse among Florida State University students, but social norms have also been used in tobacco prevention, seat-belt use, sexual assault prevention and academic performance in many universities, high schools, communities and organizations throughout the country. In short, we do it because it’s been proven to be effective.