What is Social Influence and Conformity?

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What is Social Influence and Conformity?

There are various ways advertisements can capture viewers' emotions. In this case, advertisements incorporate appeals that capture the viewer's attention most conveniently.  Different parts of reference groups inspire consumers who desire to be affiliates. The group influence goes in both ways as consumers can avoid being associated with a reference group if the brand is not their choice. However, consumers trust reference groups since people are motivated by what others are doing.

Consumers trust belonging to a reference group that they believe could aspire to be with. Reference groups are social groups that a consumer identify with and would like to join. Social groups influence the aspect of consumer attitudes and behaviours.  The typical outcome of social influence is that the beliefs and behaviours of individual consumers become more similar to the social pressure around them. While the change is a spontaneous and automatic sense, it could be passive in some ways. For instance, an individual gradually likes the preferences of a group after being affiliated for some time (Lamb et al. 2013).  Studies by Robert Cialdini found out that college students were more likely to throw litter on the ground after seeing the other student throwing some papers on the ground (Moraes et al.2019). According to the researcher, the particular behaviours were a kind of spontaneous conformity. Spontaneous conformity is a tendency of following other people's behaviour entirely out of the individual's awareness. Also, the emotional states become more similar to the reference groups.

A social influence may occur because a person can believe that people have valid knowledge about a particular opinion or an issue. The reason for individuals to choose crowds is that people can be a source of information, which psychologists refer to as informational influence. Thus, getting lost in a crowd is another aspect of study for psychologists because it has a significant influence on behaviour. When in crowds, individuals experience the loss of individual self-awareness and individual accountability in groups and become more affiliated with the activities of the group (Reicher & Stott, 2011). Some cases of conformity may be purely informational or normative (Gass & Seiter,2018). However, the goals of being accurate and being accepted go in hand with the preferences for conformity. 

In conclusion, social influence is an interesting aspect of marketing as it attracts the attention of potential viewers from a particular group. Consumers trust being part of a particular reference group and can easily believe that a group has valid knowledge about a particular thing or a product. 

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