Social norms and behavioral change
Adverse effects of sharing people’s behavior
Social norms are a common tool in increasing desired behavior. In a national park in Arizona, researches put up a sign explaining how people had commonly been stealing wood, and the problems this theft causes. However, rather than reducing the rate of theft, it incerased it. Its normalizing influence was stronger than its explanation of the immorality of theft. This suggests that anti-(behavior) campaigns that describe the behavior as common may have adverse effects.