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Parents fret over binge drinking; Colleges say they should. Yes, drinking is a problem. But maybe not the widespread problem that reactionary articles like this blow it up to be. Most college students don’t drink as much as parents, the media, or each other students think they do, which is the basis for a new approach to alcohol education called Social Norming. We’re using this approach at Truman this year, to try to help students resist the pressure to drink solely because they think others do.

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Quite frankly Matt, I think the program at Truman is ridiculous. The “Most Dogs Don’t” tagline is misleading in the fact that they only interviewed 580 students (IIRC). With this in mind, all you have to do is find 291 students who consume less than four drinks per week. On a campus of 6000+ students, finding 291 people who abstain completely from alcohol (as well as drugs, sex, video games, whatever) would be trivial if you ask the right people the right questions at the right times.

I’m not saying that there aren’t a large number of people who don’t participate in drinking, but to say that most ‘Dogs don’t have four drinks a week might be naive.

The point is that Truman wouldn’t have commisioned the survey if they didn’t know what they wanted the answers to be. By controlling the time and location of the survey, you can easily find people who are more likely to abstain and use those 291 people to generalize for the entire student body.

I don’t know, maybe I’m full of it, but if you have a link, I’d like to see a full disclosure of the testing methods. I’ve searched around the Truman.edu site and couldn’t find anything really quickly.

And furthermore, why the hell did they need to make up customized mousepads with the “Most ‘Dogs Don’t” slogan, when they can’t afford paper towels in the bathrooms because of budget cuts?

bob | 30 Aug 2001