Dr. Alan Berkowitz was on the Northern State University campus Sept. 27 discussing the social norms approach to changing behavior.
Berkowitz spoke Thursday afternoon at a meeting of the NSU Community-Campus Coalition, which addresses high-risk/dangerous drinking in 18- to 25-year-olds.
Berkowitz, a New York native now living in California, is co-creator of the social norms approach. He said people tend to overestimate how often their peers engage in risk behaviors, such as binge drinking. Conversely, they tend to underestimate how often people engage in protective behaviors, such as getting a designated driver. The goal, he said, is to correct misperceptions to create a change in behavior.
Berkowitz also gave other presentations to students and staff Thursday, including “Understanding Victims and Perpetrators of Sexual Assault” and “The Social Norms Approach to Masculinity.” He will give a presentation to student-athletes Thursday night titled “Creating a Positive Team Culture: The Student-Athlete's Role.” Berkowitz will be back on campus for more sessions Friday.