Targeting misperceptions of descriptive drinking norms: efficacy of a computer-delivered personalized normative feedback intervention

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2004 Jun;72(3):434-47. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.72.3.434.


The authors evaluated the efficacy of a computer-delivered personalized normative feedback intervention in reducing alcohol consumption among heavy-drinking college students. Participants included 252 students who were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group following a baseline assessment. Immediately after completing measures of reasons for drinking, perceived norms, and drinking behavior, participants in the intervention condition were provided with computerized information detailing their own drinking behavior, their perceptions of typical student drinking, and actual typical student drinking. Results indicated that normative feedback was effective in changing perceived norms and alcohol consumption at 3- and 6-month follow-up assessments. In addition, the intervention was somewhat more effective at 3-month follow-up among participants who drank more for social reasons.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control*
  • Attitude*
  • Feedback*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Social Perception*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*