Social Influence Essay

10099 words - 40 pages

SOCIAL INFLUENCEInfluence investigates the causes of human change--whether that change is a behavior, an attitude, or a belief. Inducing a change in behavior is called compliance. Inducing a change in attitude is called persuasion. Inducing a change in belief is called either education or propaganda--depending on your perspective. Effort by one or more individual to change the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, or behavior of others.Social influence is said to be employed by an agent or practitioner upon a target. The agent's message is called her advocacy. If your goal is to get your husband to stop overeating, you may seek compliance-- by getting him to stay out of the refrigerator--or you may influence him to internalize different eating habits, in which case he would be persuaded. You are the agent, your husband is the target, and your tactics or message would be your advocacy.Social influence is when the actions or thoughts of individual(s) are changed by other individual(s). Examples of social influence can be seen in socialization and peer pressure. This is the effect of other people on a person's behavior.In the case of peer pressure, a person might be forced into doing something (such as going to an opera) he might not like but is "necessary" to upkeep the positive relationship with the other party, such as the family of their partner. The person could agree to the offering even if he hated it because of many reasons; maybe he is the possible inheritor of the family/person that asks him to come to the opera, the family could want to evaluate the person before letting their son/daughter get married with him/her, etc.Social influence can also be described by the word power, which means to possess the ability to embrace a person/group of people to one's own will. Usually people of good genes (looks), significant sums of money, good jobs and so on will possess social influence on other, "ordinary" people. So even if the person doesn't possess any "real" or political power but possessed the things listed above (good looks, money, etc.), he could persuade other people into doing/saying something. An example would be movie stars, who don't (usually) possess any political power but are familiar to many of the world's citizens and therefore possess social status. They get a lot of media coverage, they are admired in television shows and they have many enthusiastic fans.There are three components of social influence. They are:Conformity: A type of social influence in which individuals change their attitudes or behavior in order to adhere to existing social norms.Compliance: A form of social influence involving direct request from one person to another.Obedience: A form of social influence in which one person obeys direct orders from another to perform some action(s).CONFORMITYHave you ever found yourself in a situation in which you felt that you stuck out like a proverbial sore thumb? If so you have already had direct experiences with pressure to...

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