Construction of Meaning during a Pandemic: The Forgotten Role of Social Norms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How social norms are formed likely has a bearing on the mechanisms underlying their effects on behavioral outcomes. We propose three mechanisms of norms formation–through direct experience, symbolically through media, or imaginatively–and introduce ideas about normative durability, normative subscription, normative volume, personal agency, and polarization of norms–that likely have a bearing on how norms affect behaviors. The COVID-19 pandemic has important implications for how norms are formed, which in turn invoke different underlying mechanisms in the relationship between social norms and behaviors. We propose a number of hypotheses for future studies to test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1732-1734
Number of pages3
JournalHealth communication
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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