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 journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


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 (f2 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
Pages (from-to)818-823
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute R25CA128770 (D. Teegarden) Cancer Prevention Internship Program (Nick Carcioppolo) administered by the Oncological Sciences Center and the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Society for Public Health Education.


  • indoor tanning
  • melanoma
  • normative misperceptions
  • social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Can a Social Norms Appeal Reduce Indoor Tanning? Preliminary Findings From a Tailored Messaging Intervention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this