The better-than-average effect drives norm misperceptions

Stöckli, Sabrina; Dorn, Michael Hans; Messner, Claude Mathias (3 May 2019). The better-than-average effect drives norm misperceptions (Unpublished). In: 6th International Meeting on Experimental and Behavioral Social Sciences. Utrecht, Netherlands. 02.-04.05. 2019.

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This research examined whether the better-than-average (BTA) effect is a possible explanation for norm misperceptions. Data from an online study demonstrates that people perceive their risk and proenvironmental behavior as more socially approved than the same behavior in others, suggesting that norm misperceptions are driven by the BTA effect. This suggestion is further substantiated by the observation that when a proenvironmental lifestyle is important to a person, that person’s perception that their proenvironmental behavior is more socially approved of than the same behavior in others becomes more pronounced. This moderator effect of importance is typically reported in the BTA literature. Norm misperceptions were also more pronounced when behaviors were framed in a socially disapproving manner when compared to those framed in a socially approving manner. This framing effect underpins that the BTA effect drives norm misperceptions. We expect that these findings advance the conceptualization of interventions based on social norms and contribute to BTA literature.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Innovation Management > Consumer Behavior

UniBE Contributor:

Stöckli, Sabrina (A), Dorn, Michael Hans, Messner, Claude Mathias


600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Sabrina Stöckli

Date Deposited:

03 Sep 2019 09:18

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:36




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