Can a Social Norms Appeal Reduce Indoor Tanning? Preliminary Findings From a Tailored Messaging Intervention

Nick Carcioppolo, Wei Peng, Di Lun, Aurora Occa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Perceived social norms are routinely observed as positive predictors of indoor tanning. Past research has suggested that messaging interventions target normative perceptions to reduce indoor tanning behavior. Despite this call, little empirical research has investigated the utility of taking a social norms approach in behavioral interventions. The present study addresses this gap by conducting a quasi-experiment (N = 206) assessing the effect of an intervention message correcting normative misperceptions on indoor tanning intentions at different levels of tanning frequency. Results suggest that tailored normative intervention messages can successfully reduce tanning intentions among high-frequency tanners, those who scored at the 75th and 90th percentile of tanning frequency (f 2 for interaction =.015). These results provide preliminary empirical evidence to support previous theorizing on the efficacy of social norms interventions among high-frequency indoor tanners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • indoor tanning
  • melanoma
  • normative misperceptions
  • social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this