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The Psychology of Social Influence

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Ania Jośko

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of The Psychology of Social Influence

Evolutionary Bases of Social Influence Social influence relies on six major processes
Social Validation
Scarcity Most social mammals have the desire to
Fit in their group - reciprocity, consistency, social validation, liking
Do what powerful others tell them (authority)
Most animals that can engage in goal directed behaviour value scarce resources (scarcity) Why these six dimensions?

Answer: they are linked to the core human goals

But how?... Groups necessary for survival.

People have an inner Need To Belong (Baumeister & Leary, 1995).

Breaking group norms leads to social rejection. Why does it work? Why try to fit in? Why not ignore
the norms? Social rejection has negative effects virtually on all aspects of
human life. It is detrimental to an individual's everyday funtioning.
(Twenge et al., 2003) We help those who help us, we harm those who harm us.
Encourages cooperation and limits competition.
Common to all human cultures and most social animals.
We are more likely to change behaviour for someone who has previously changed for us. We feel a deep need to give something back. Reciprocity Provides information on how to act, helps to predict how an individual from a particular group might act
People are inclined to follow the crowd Social Validation People try to act in a manner that is consistent with their beliefs, desires and previous behaviours
Hypocrisy is a negative trait
Consistency is induced when one takes a stand on something
People will be willing to comply to requests which are consistent with a position they had previously adopted Consistency People are more likely to change behaviour for those who they like
i.e. friends and partners are more influential than acquaintances, aquaintances than strangers, strangers than enemies Liking What makes us likeable?
similarity Powerful individuals are extremely influential - parents, teachers, professionals, leaders
People are likely to follow powerful others because they control rewards and punishments
Interesting question: what's the stopping point? Authority People and most animals are motivated to acquire and hold rare or scarce items
They are likely to change behaviour if it leads to getting valuable resources Scarcity How it all works... Baumeister, R. F. (1982). A self-presentational view of social phenomena. Psychological Bulletin, 91, 3-26.
Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497-529.
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Twenge, J. M., Catanese, K.R., & Baumeister, R. F. (2003). Social exclusion and the deconstructed state: Time perception, meaninglessness, lethargy, lack of emotion and self-awareness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 409–423. References contd
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