Define Social Influence as if I’ve Never Heard of It
According to psychology, they define social influence as to what shapes the way people think and act. The term social influence is a collective term of various factors that affect the way a person thinks and behaves.
While you might have heard the term social influence in the past, chances are that you may not understand the power that exists in social influence for businesses and marketers.
Define Social Influence
Simply put, social influence is based on the principle that people will probably change their behavior according to the prevailing social environment. It affects different areas of a person’s life, including the thinking process, beliefs, and attitude. People who are under social influence tend to modify their behavior to fit into social groups.0
For clarity, here are some practical examples that show the power of social influence:
- A college girl starts to date older men because her girlfriends are doing it.
- Companies start to fund a charity drive because another established company is doing it and getting more clients.
- A voter decides to vote for another presidential candidate after realizing that his friends support that candidate.
- Shoppers rush to buy a specific product after most people rush to buy the same products.
- People start to dress in a particular way after that dressing style trends on social media for a few days.
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Types of Social Influence
Informational Social Influence
Informational social influence is the use of information provided by experts or peers to make a decision. The information changes the behavior, thinking, and belief of the individuals. This type of social influence occurs when individuals are not sure what to think about a certain topic or issue. Hence, the individuals copy the point of view of trusted people in order to be correct.
Normative Social Influence
Normative social influence is where individuals change their behavior and beliefs to fit in. For instance, some people tend to take drugs to be liked. Social influence can be categorized into three forms known as compliance, conformity, and obedience.
Conformity usually occurs when individuals want to be accepted by a group and to have a sense of belonging. This causes individuals to change their beliefs, behavior, and actions.
Obedience is a form of social influence where an individual accepts a request since the person requesting is in authority. Most individuals will obey what is requested even though it will cause harm.
Compliance social influence is where individuals change their behavior when requested. However, the individual that makes the request for change in behavior is not an authority. Hence, it is not a must for you to do as requested. Below are some of the things that determine compliance.
- If an individual wants to be accepted in a group
- When there are so many people around.
- Compliance is also possible when an individual believes in the person making the request.
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