Media and social norms: exploring the relationship between media and plastic avoidance social norms

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Compared to the influence of social norms on pro-environmental behavior, we know much less about the processes that influence perceptions about social norms. This study explores the relationship between media exposure and social norms in the context of single-use plastic avoidance. Structural equation modeling was used to determine how exposure to news, documentaries, and social media were related to key constructs from the theory of normative social behavior–including perceived descriptive and injunctive norms and outcome expectations related to perceived self- and environmental benefits of avoidance. News exposure was positively related to injunctive norms. Social media exposure was negatively related to descriptive and injunctive norms and positively related to perceived benefits. Documentary exposure was positively related to descriptive norms and perceived benefits. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-387
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Mass media
  • single-use plastic
  • social media
  • social norms
  • theory of normative social behavior

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