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Exploring normative leadership: an egocentric network approach to friends’ norm-signaling relevance


Geber, Sarah (2019). Exploring normative leadership: an egocentric network approach to friends’ norm-signaling relevance. International Journal of Communication, 13:4198-4218.

Abstract

This article examines friends’ norm-signaling relevance, that is, the impact of friends’ risk behaviors on individual normative perceptions (descriptive and injunctive) and indirect, norm-mediated effects on individual risk behavior. Specifically, and inspired by the concept of opinion leadership, I explore whether there are normative leaders: friends who are recognized as advisors and who have a distinct norm-signaling relevance by shaping normative perceptions to a particular extent. Hypotheses are tested based on egocentric networks of 311 young drivers (egos) and three of their friends regarding three road traffic risk behaviors (i.e., speeding, driving after drinking, and texting while driving). The results corroborate the idea of the norm-signaling relevance of friends’ behaviors and the special role of normative leaders in this regard. Friends who are recognized as advisors by the egos have a distinct impact on injunctive normative perceptions, that is, perceptions about the behavior’s social approval among friends. Implications for social norms research, opinion leadership research, and norms-based interventions are discussed.

Abstract

This article examines friends’ norm-signaling relevance, that is, the impact of friends’ risk behaviors on individual normative perceptions (descriptive and injunctive) and indirect, norm-mediated effects on individual risk behavior. Specifically, and inspired by the concept of opinion leadership, I explore whether there are normative leaders: friends who are recognized as advisors and who have a distinct norm-signaling relevance by shaping normative perceptions to a particular extent. Hypotheses are tested based on egocentric networks of 311 young drivers (egos) and three of their friends regarding three road traffic risk behaviors (i.e., speeding, driving after drinking, and texting while driving). The results corroborate the idea of the norm-signaling relevance of friends’ behaviors and the special role of normative leaders in this regard. Friends who are recognized as advisors by the egos have a distinct impact on injunctive normative perceptions, that is, perceptions about the behavior’s social approval among friends. Implications for social norms research, opinion leadership research, and norms-based interventions are discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social norms, normative social influences, opinion leadership, egocentric networks, risk behaviors, norms-based intervention
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:05 Nov 2019 15:48
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:31
Publisher:University of Southern California
ISSN:1932-8036
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.

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