Social Influence || Sensation and Perception || Bcis Notes

Social Influence || Sensation and Perception || Bcis Notes

Social Influence

Social Influence is the change in behavior that one person causes in another intentionally or unintentionally as a result of the way, the changed person perceives themselves in relationship to the influencer, other people and society in general. Social Influence includes:

  • Conformity
  • Compliance
  • Destructive Obedience
  • Intense indoctrination


  • Conformity means changing your behavior or opinion in order to match with the majority of its group you belong to people got along with the group behavior and opinions to avoid being different and abnormal social norms. Social norms are of two types Spoken and unspoken norms.

Spoken norms:

  • There are spoken norms on how we should behave in every situation. They exert powerful effects on our behavior. Rules are written in public places like hospitals, parks, schools, etc. Example; speed limit 10km, no horn school area or hospital area, etc.

Unspoken norms:

  • Some norms are unspoken or implicit. Example; Don’t stand too close to a stranger, Don’t arrive early on parties, etc.
  • Research of Solomon Ash: He believed that people according to how people perceive the world is not how it actually is; Solomon Ash is best known for his experiments on conformity was socially influenced to give a wrong answer on the length of time.

Factors affecting conformity are as follows:

  • Cohesiveness
  • Group size
  • Descriptive and injunctive social norms

Causes of conformity:

  1. Desire to be liked by others(Normative social norms)
  2. The desire to be right(Informational social norms)
  3. The cognitive consequence of going along with the group

Reasons for Unconformity:

  • Resisting(Not to go with the group)
  • Inability to conform
  • The true partner effect


Compliance refers to the change in behavior that is required by another person or group, the individual acted in some way because others asked him to do so. People are often unaware that they are being influenced. They are situations when social influence leads them to behave in ways that are not in their best interest. Cialdini provided 6 techniques to gain compliance, they are as follows:

  • Friendship or liking
  • Commitment or consistency
  • Scarcity
  • Reciprocity
  • Social Validation
  • Authority

You may also like Introduction to Intelligence

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