Whether it is marketing, socialization, peer pressure or
leadership, social influence affects our behavior. It can be intentional or
unintentional. Social influence has many positive effects on our lives. For
example, it can encourage us to volunteer, donate money, or participate in
school activities. However, it can also have a negative effect. For example, it
can encourage people to conform to group norms, which can lead to inaccurate
and ineffective opinions.
There are three forms of social influence: conformity,
compliance, and identification. Conformity refers to the change in behaviors
due to internalization of group views, usually in response to group norms. The
term conformity is also used to describe situations in which people do not have
the information they need to make their own decision. In addition, people who
are members of a group are less likely to question the authority of the group.
In contrast, compliance involves changing one's behavior when an authority
figure demands that they do so. Usually, compliance involves an individual's
adherence to a social rule or social role.
Compliance is a short-lived form of social influence. People
will comply with an authority figure if they believe they have the right to do
so. Usually, this is due to fear or a perceived threat. However, it can also be
influenced by authority figures who are more powerful than their followers. For
example, a politician might coerce his followers into joining a campaign or
political party. This coercion is also known as coercive power.
Compliance is the lowest level of social influence. It is
short-lived because people do not have a clear sense of who they are
identifying with. It is also associated with a low attractiveness of the group.
When group members are influenced by a minority opinion, they are more likely
to follow it, even if it is unpopular. However, if the minority opinion is
accompanied by a strong and consistent message, it is more likely to persuade
the group to consider it seriously.
In contrast, minority influence is often used for malign
purposes. It can change the views of a group's members, thereby affecting the
opinions of the wider population. However, minority influence is not as
effective as normative influence, which relies on an authority figure's
authority to compel group members to follow his or her command.
Similarly, conformity is not a good way to get information
because it is usually based on a minority's views. It also discourages people
from discussing or debating the beliefs of a group. In addition, it discourages
the nurturing of new ideas. People who adhere to group norms do not think about
their own beliefs, and they may assume their own beliefs without thinking about
Regardless of the type of influence, each has negative and
positive effects on a person. For example, coercive power can be dangerous
because individuals are forced to follow an authority figure. However, it can
also be beneficial because it helps the group to cooperate. In addition, social
influence can affect how people think and feel, and it can be used for good or