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 them.
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 bad purposes.