Summary
Social influence comprises the ways in which individuals adjust their behavior to meet the demands of a social environment. It takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing. Typically social influence results from a specific action, command, or request, but people also alter their attitudes and behaviors in response to what they perceive others might do or think. In 1958, Harvard psychologist Herbert Kelman identified three broad varieties of social influence. Compliance is when people appear to agree with others but actually keep their dissenting opinions private. Identification is when people are influenced by someone who is liked and respected, such as a famous celebrity. Internalization is when people accept a belief or behavior and agree both publicly and privately. Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard described two psychological needs that lead humans to conform to the expectations of others. These include our need to be right (informational social influence) and our need to be liked (normative social influence). Informational influence (or social proof) is an influence to accept information from another as evidence about reality. Informational influence comes into play when people are uncertain, either because stimuli are intrinsically ambiguous or because there is social disagreement. Normative influence is an influence to conform to the positive expectations of others. In terms of Kelman's typology, normative influence leads to public compliance, whereas informational influence leads to private acceptance. Social influence is a broad term that relates to many different phenomena. Listed below are some major types of social influence that are being researched in the field of social psychology. For more information, follow the main article links provided. There are three processes of attitude change as defined by Harvard psychologist Herbert Kelman in a 1958 paper published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution.
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