Normative and Informational Social Influence

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  • Normative Social Influence
    • Conformity
    • Pressure from the majority for the minority not to deviate from the social norm.
    • Garandeau and Cillessen (2006)
      • Bullying
      • Groups with a low quality of interpersonal friendships may be manipulated by a bully.
      • Victimisation provides the bullying group with a common aim forcing the members of the group to conform.
    • Linkenbach and Perkins (2003)
      • 12-17 year olds
      • Montana, USA
      • 10% of non-smokers took up smoking after exposure to a message that the majority of children their age didn't smoke.
      • Control group 17% of non-smokers took up smoking.
      • 41% difference can be attributed to normative social influence.
    • Schultz at al (2008)
      • Gathered data from 132 hotels - 794 rooms.
      • Control condition - a door hanger informed guests of the environment benefits of reusing their towels
      • Experimental condition - along with the door hanger message, guests were informed that 75% of guests choose to reuse their towels each day.
      • Guests in the experimental condition were 25% more likely to reuse their towels than those in the control condition.
  • Informational Social Influence
    • Internalisation
    • Persuasive minority - Persuasive majority
    • Most likely when:
      • Situation is a crisis
      • Others are seen as experts
      • Situation is ambiguous
    • Wittenbrink and Henly (1996)
      • Studied how exposure to others beliefs has an important influence on social stereotypes.
      • Participants were exposed to some negative views about African Americans.
      • Participants later reported more negative beliefs about a black individual
    • Fein et al (2007)
      • Showed how the judgement of a politicians performance could be influenced by the opinions of others.
      • Participants saw what was the reaction of their fellow participants on the screen during the speech.
      • Produced large shifts in participants judgements
    • Jones et al (2000)
      • Used informational social influence to explain mass psychogenic illness
      • Explained the Tennessee school mass psychogenic illness using informational social influence.
      • After a teacher noticed a petrol smell in her classroom and reported signs of illness the school was evacuated. 80 students and 19 teachers went to the medical room, but no source for the apparent illness was found.


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