The Influence of Norms on Music Downloading Intentions: Two Studies
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The present study examines the roles played by three different types of norms in relation to students' intentions to illegally download music. Study 1 corrects validity and reliability concerns among these norms exhibited in previous research. Two hundred twenty seven ( n = 227) undergraduate students completed a Web-based survey asking them to report their downloading experience, downloading intentions and their perception of three norms related to downloading (i.e., subjective, injunctive, descriptive norms). Results from confirmatory factor analyses failed to support the proposed three-factor model of normative influence – subjective norms were distinct from injunctive norms and descriptive norms, however, injunctive norms were not distinct from descriptive norms. Results from Study 1 indicate descriptive norms and injunctive norms had an indirect impact on music downloading intentions through deficient self-regulation while subjective norms had a direct impact on music downloading intentions. Study 2 examines the persuasive effects of normative messages on psychological reactance and message reactions. In Study 2, participants ( n = 237) were randomly exposed to one of four written messages on illegal music downloading. Results indicate that positively worded descriptive messages promoting paid online music services were more influential than negatively worded descriptive messages designed to prevent illegal music downloading behaviors. The findings of the current study have theoretical and practical implications for norm-based campaign messages designed to reduce the prevalence of illegal music downloading behaviors.