From CADCA Coalition's Online:
A study reported by Health Behavior News Service found that when college students think that their peers drink a lot of alcohol, they drink more themselves. The study also found that when college students learn that their perception is incorrect, they sometimes drink less.
The reviewers looked at how social norms -- our beliefs about what is "normal" behavior in the people close to us -- might influence students' drinking. If a student believes that his or her peers drink heavily, it will likely influence the amount of alcohol the student personally drinks. They say that much of peer influence is the result of incorrect perceptions.