Dr. Junhan Chen

CHRC Alumna and Staff Propose a Framework of Moderators of Social norm-based Messages based on a Systematic Review

Social norm-based messages have been widely used for persuasion. However, the current trend that research focuses on using social norm theories rather than theorizing about social norms may hinder theory advancement. Although there are efforts theorizing moderators in norm–behavior relationship, the empirical studies testing the theories have yielded mixed findings, and the unclear focus on social norm-based messages versus perceived norms may impede theorizing the communication process regarding social norm-based persuasion. To bridge this gap, our study takes an inductive approach based on 85 studies to create a framework of moderators in social norm-based message persuasiveness. The framework identifies five factors moderating the effect of descriptive norm messages on behavioral intentions and two factors for injunctive norm messages. This framework lays a foundation for theorizing the mechanism of social norm-based message persuasiveness, highlights empirically supported conditions for message persuasiveness, and offers practical implications for designing targeted social norm-based messages.

Chen, J., Xia S., & Lin, T. (2023). A framework of moderators in social norm-based message persuasiveness based on a systematic review. Human Communication Research, hqad043,