Wesley Perkins, professor of sociology, is the lead author in a new study titled “Effectiveness of Social Norms Media Marketing in Reducing Drinking and Driving: A Statewide Campaign” that appears in the October issue of the journal, Addictive Behaviors. The study employed a quasi experimental design in research conducted across the state of Montana over a two year period. Results demonstrate a significant reduction in drinking and driving in the counties where a social norms media intervention was introduced compared to other counties. The media campaign designed to reduce misperceptions of norms about drinking and driving was based on Perkins’ theory of social normative influence and its application to the reduction of risk behaviors.
Perkins is a graduate of Purdue University, and he received his M.A., M. Div., M. Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He is the author of dozens of journal articles about substance abuse prevention and has been honored with national awards for his work in preventing alcohol and drug abuse in colleges and universities. His work with David Craig, professor of chemistry, is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a premiere model for substance abuse prevention.