People conform even if the answer is obviously wrong | Normative Social Influence

Does it amaze you that people conform in order to be liked and accepted?

Don’t let fear or embarrassment stop you from sharing your experiences about your alternative health treatment!

It’s easier to follow the crowd rather than risk “looking like a crazy person”. If you just save one person’s life or change the quality of one person’s life, it’s worth it!

Normative Social Influence

Normative social influence can be a very powerful, yet undetected, motivator of behavior, says Wikipedia citing studies:

“Solomon Asch conducted his classic conformity experiments in an attempt to discover if people would still conform when the right answer was obvious. Specifically, he asked participants in his experiment to judge the similarity of lines, an easy task by objective standards. Using confederates, he created the illusion that an entire group of participants believed something that was clearly false (i.e., that dissimilar lines were actually similar). When in this situation, participants conformed over a third of the time on trials where the confederates gave blatantly false answers. When asked to make the judgements in private, participants gave the right answer more than 98% of the time. Asch’s results cannot be explained by informational social influence, because in this case, the task was easy and the answer obvious. Thus, participants were not necessarily looking to others in order to figure out what the right answer was, as informational social influence would predict; instead, they were seeking acceptance and avoiding disapproval. Follow-up interviews with participants of the original Asch studies confirmed this fact; when asked about why they conformed, many participants provided reasons other than a need for accuracy.

Conformity Informational and Normative Infuence

Informational Social Influence or Social Proof

Wikipedia definitions:

“The effects of social influence can be seen in the tendency of large groups to conform to choices which may be either correct or mistaken, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as herd behavior.”

“Social proof often leads not only to public compliance (conforming to the behavior of others publicly without necessarily believing it is correct) but also private acceptance (conforming out of a genuine belief that others are correct). Social proof is more powerful when being accurate is more important and when others are perceived as especially knowledgeable.”

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