2004
Volume 39, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-6930
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7286

Abstract

Do you wash your hands after using the bathroom? Two studies about communicating the injunctive and descriptive norm, and practicing informational and normative social influence in order to promote handwashing behavior.

Do you wash your hands after using the bathroom? Two studies about communicating the injunctive and descriptive norm, and practicing informational and normative social influence in order to promote handwashing behavior.

Increasing handwashing compliance after using the bathroom was the main goal of the two studies. Handwashing is of critical importance for preventing the spread of bacteria. Most people do know this, but they don’t behave in accordance to this fact. Lack of knowledge does not explain the discrepancy and therefore we investigated two strategies from the social influence literature. The effects on the handwashing behavior were observed unobtrusively. In the first study the impact of communicating the injunctive and descriptive norms regarding handwashing were examined. Results indicate that handwashing is promoted by communicating the injunctive norm. The impact of the descriptive norm is less important. In the second study informational and normative social influence were examined under different experimental conditions. Both informational and normative social influence promoted handwashing behavior and increased handwashing compliance after using the bathroom. Implications for influencing automatic and routine behavior by the use of communication and persuasive strategies are discussed.

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/content/journals/10.5117/2011.039.003.041
2011-09-01
2022-05-17
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