Descriptive Norms and Involvement in Health and Environmental Behaviors

Maria Knight Lapinski, Jie Zhuang, Hyeseung Koh, Jingyuan Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The theory of normative social behavior (TNSB) describes the moderators of the descriptive norm-behavior relationship. Although specified in revisions to the model, the role of involvement as a moderator has not been fully explored. As such, this article predicts that different forms of involvement (i.e., value-, impression-, and outcome-relevant involvement) function in different ways as moderators of the descriptive norm-behavior relationship and determines whether this relationship varies by health and environmental behaviors. This article presents data on three behaviors examined in prior social norms studies: drinking alcohol, fast food consumption, and recycling. Data indicate that the nature of the relationship among the study variables is dependent on the focal behavior. For fast food consumption, the descriptive norm-behavioral intention relationship is moderated by value-relevant involvement and behavioral identity. For recycling, the descriptive norm-behavior relationship is moderated by behavioral identity. Other main effects are evidenced in the data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-387
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number3
Early online date8 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


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