Define Social Influence Like I'm a 5 Year Old
The way we act and make decisions— believe it or not, is not solely our choice. When we choose something different, not because we want to, but because another person wished for that choice, that’s how you define social influence. The effect of social influence is seen in the way people behave in society. Some marketing firms utilize social influence to encourage customers to consider a specific product.
Social Influences is a broad term that covers all the things that are happening in society and how it is affecting us as people. There are many different kinds of social influence, depending on who you are trying to please or gain admiration.
1. Informational Social Influence
When you turn on your television or look at the weather forecast on your phone and see a projection of a possible rainfall, you bring an umbrella before you leave for work. That is what informational social influence means. If, for example, a dietitian advertises a specific dietary supplement that promises that you will lose weight and you opt to buy it, informational social influence is taking place. Trustworthy information sources have the power to impact our decision-making.
2. Normative Social Influence
As children, we all want to fit in and find friends. We change the way we behave to be accepted. For example, your friend wished to cut classes, and you know that is bad. Since you want to be accepted, you still missed classes despite the consequences.
Notice how liquor companies hire beautiful women to advertise their alcohol? In some ways, they use normative social influence to make you believe that by drinking their liquor, you get the woman of your dreams. When we change to fit in a group, possibly for the worst, that is normative social influence.
Imagine you are going to the movies and there is a long line. The film is about to start, and you know you won’t make it. However, if you cut the line, you know there’s still hope for you. You are choosing not to miss the line and instead decide to wait for a different schedule, conformity.
Society has certain expectations, and other sectors in society also have expectations. Conformity is usually seen in the manners and etiquette that we practice.
A friend asks if she could borrow your pen, and you gave it to her. That’s compliance. When you agree to make a request, you are complying. For example, see an ad on the internet that says click here and buy this product. Once you check out, you have complied with the request.
The moment you follow the command of a person in power or authority, obedience. For example, your teacher asks you to keep quiet, and you do so. You are practicing the social influence called obedience. When your doctor orders you to buy a specific food item you do not like, but you buy it anyway because he is a person of authority over your health, you follow him.
Social influences play a huge role in society because it affects the way we interact with the things that surround us. Even in business, social influence plays a huge role in making or breaking your business.
There’s more to the power of social influence that can help you grow your online business, so if you are interested in learning more about it, click here.
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