Social influence and theories
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SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND THEORIES. ALINA BINT-E-TAHIR SARAH SOHAIL SALMAN RIZVI TAUQEER RAZA. SOCIAL INFLUENCE. When we change what we believe, or how we behave, after observing the attitudes or actions of others, we are making this change because of social influence.

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Social influence and theories






Social influence

  • When we change what we believe, or how we behave, after observing the attitudes or actions of others, we are making this change because of social influence.

    It is a process of changing our attitudes, values and behaviours in response to the attitudes and behaviours of others

Importance of groups

  • We tend to resist influence from groups that are not important to us.

Three areas of social influence
Three areas of social influence

  • Conformity

  • Compliance

  • Obedience


  • Conformity is the process by which an individual's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are influenced by other people.

  • This influence occurs in both small groups and society as a whole.


Complete agreement by everyone

  • Unanimity in the opinion of the group to which the people conform.

  • Asch’s study:

    • If 9 people in the group expressed one opinion then the 10th person will also express the same opinion.

    • However with the introduction of one actor in the group who expressed a different view but the same view as expected by the 10th person, the conformity of the group decreased from 37 per cent to just 10 per cent.

Group size
Group size conform.

  • Studies conducted by:

    • Asch

    • Stang

    • Milgram

    • Bickman

    • Berkowitz

  • Result: conformity peaks with groups of 4-5

Culture conform.

  • Levels of conformity vary across different cultures.

  • It is more in group oriented societies like Japan.

Compliance conform.

Compliance refers to the act of responding favorably to an explicit or implicit request offered by others

  • There are 4 compliance strategies:

    • Foot in the door

    • Door in the face

    • Low ball

    • Ingratiation

Foot in the door
Foot in the door conform.

  • Foot-in-the-door technique (FITD) is a compliance tactic that involves getting a person to agree to a large request by first setting them up by having that person agree to a modest request

  • Example: Can I borrow the car to go to the store?" followed by "Can I borrow the car for the weekend?"

Door in the face
Door in the face conform.

  • Compliance with the request of concern is enhanced by first making an extremely large request that the respondent will turn down.

  • Then a second more reasonable request is made.

  • A person is also more likely to agree with the second request because they feel guilty for having rejected the first request

  • Example: Will you donate $1000 to our organization? [Response is no].Oh. Well could you donate $10?''

Low ball
Low ball conform.

  • First propose an attractive price on an idea/item which you are confident that the other person/buyer will accept.

  • Maximize their buy-in, in particular by getting both verbal and public commitment to this e.g. hand-shaking

  • Make it clear that the decision to purchase is from their own free will.

  • Change the agreement to what you really want. The person/buyer may complain, but, they should agree to the change if the low-ball is managed correctly.

Ingratiation conform.

  • Ingratiation is a strategic attempt to get someone to like you in order to obtain compliance with a request 

  • Example: make a small talk first and get to know the person.

Obedience conform.

Obedience is the response to the social influence exerted by a single person typically someone with higher status, such as an authority on others.

Factors affecting obedience
Factors affecting obedience conform.

  • Group pressure

  • Social proximity

  • Authority figures

Milgram s obedience experiments
Milgram’s conform. obedience experiments

Social proximity
Social proximity conform.

  • Relative closeness of two or more people

Group pressure
Group pressure conform.

  • At two points during the study, one actor and then the other refused to continue with the study by disobeying the experimenter authority.

  • The participant therefore had the choice of continuing to obey the authority or conforming to the group.

  • Most participants conformed to the group and were disobedient, with only 10 per cent fully obeying the authority.

Social judgment theory1
Social Judgment Theory conform.

  • Developed by Muzafer Sherif and Carl Hovland

  • Specifies the conditions under which the attitude of a person changes

  • Also identifies the direction of the change and the extent of the change


The 3 latitudes
The 3 Latitudes conform.

  • Latitude of Acceptance

  • Latitude of Reflection

  • Latitude of Non-Commitment

Principles of social judgment theories
Principles of Social Judgment Theories conform.

  • We have categories of judgment by which we evaluate persuasive positions

  • When we receive persuasive information, we locate it on our categories of judgment

  • Our level of "ego-involvement" affects the size of our latitudes

  • We tend to distort incoming information to fit our categories of judgment

  • Small to moderate discrepancies between our anchor positions and the one advocated will cause us to change; large discrepancies will not

Theory of reasoned action1
Theory of Reasoned Action conform.

Behavioral Intention(BI) = Attitude(A) + Subjective Norms(SN)

BI = A(w1) + SN(w2)

Components conform.

  • Attitudes: the sum of beliefs about a particular behavior weighted by evaluations of these beliefs

  • Subjective norms: looks at the influence of people in one’s social environment

  • Behavioral intention: a function of both attitudes toward a behavior and subjective norms toward that behavior, which has been found to predict actual behavior

  • Weights: the degree of importance that the components might have for a person

Limitations conform.

  • Attitudes can often be reframed as Norms

  • When someone forms an intention to act he is free to do so without any limitations