The present study shows that the paradigm relative to Black Sheep Effect (BSE) may be used to reveal normative stakes whose existence is not clearly identified. To this end, our study focuses on alcohol drinking practices among students, specifically with regard to drinking contexts (solitary vs. group). Our hypothesis was that the drinking norms are determined by their context (i.e. social vs. solitary drinking). More specifically, we suggested that social drinking is viewed by students as pro-normative, while solitary drinking is viewed as anti-normative. The results confirmed our hypotheses and enable us to consider that the BSE paradigm has the potential to reveal normative stakes. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.