Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2005

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Kate B. Carey

Honors Reader

Dr. Stephen Maisto

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Community Psychology | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Other Psychology | Psychology


The primary purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that enhancing the availability of images that either portrayed liberal heavy drinking at college or the conservative academic side of college would serve to influence students’ perceptions of peer norms. It was hypothesized that students would rely on the availability heuristic to make judgments of peer norms, so that exposure to a movie clip that emphasized drinking would increase estimates of peer drinking norms when compared with exposure to a movie clip that emphasized academic work. It was further hypothesized that the film clips would assist participants in making judgments of others' attitudes towards drinking. A total of 83 undergraduates were randomly assigned into one of two conditions: a 15-minute video clip of Rudy (n = 43), or a 15-minute video clip of Animal House (n = 39). After viewing the videos, all participants completed measures of estimated drinking norms and attitudes towards drinking held by otherSyracuseUniversity students. However, the results did not support the hypotheses and insignificant differences were found between groups, relating to their estimates of others’ drinking, as well as their perceptions of others’ attitudes towards drinking. Suggestions for future research include the strengthening of the manipulation and stratifying participants by drinking level.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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