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The Puck Stops Here: Evolving Social Norms of Helmet Usage in the National Hockey League

Wise, SC; Scott, S; (2012) The Puck Stops Here: Evolving Social Norms of Helmet Usage in the National Hockey League. In: (Proceedings) CSSSA 2012: The Computational Social Science Society of the Americas 2012 Conference, 18-21 September 2012, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

Since the mid 1960s, the use of safety helmets in the National Hockey League (NHL) went from virtually nil to almost universal adoption. Despite horrific injuries sustained by players early in the history of the sport, widespread helmet adoption did not take place immediately. Using the NHL as an example, this paper examines the process of emerging norms in a social group, considering peer influence and exogenous policy impacts. The historical circumstances surrounding the NHL helmet usage policy changes are presented, along with a brief survey of the social science modeling of cultural norms. The study presents a peer-influence model in which players helmet usage decisions are influenced by their immediate social network and an exogenous mandate requiring helmet usage for new players. Model results are compared to actual NHL helmet usage trends based on data extracted by review of NHL game footage. The results show eventual dominance of helmet usage, but without the wide fluctuations in the actual historical adoption trends. The study is of interest to policy makers comparing interventionist strategies versus social network based approaches for influencing cultural norms of behavior.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: The Puck Stops Here: Evolving Social Norms of Helmet Usage in the National Hockey League
Event: CSSSA 2012: The Computational Social Science Society of the Americas 2012 Conference, 18-21 September 2012, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Dates: 18 September 2012 - 21 September 2012
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://computationalsocialscience.org/conferences...
Language: English
Additional information: This is the published version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Norms, Agent-Based Model, National Hockey League
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1527417
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