Help With Psychology Discussion 2

Discussion- Wk3-Psychology

Interpersonal Social Influence

Why do television comedies use canned audience laughter? Why do bartendersoften fill their tip jars from their own pocket before going on duty? Becausesocial proof is persuasive; the behavior of other people influences your ownbehavior. But this begs another fundamental question: Why do you use otherpeople to learn about stuff anyway? Can’t you just figure it out for yourself?

One answer is that you don’t always know how you are supposed to act or behave.In many everyday situations, you feel uncertain about what to think or how toact or behave because you simply don’t have enough information to make a goodor accurate choice. Fortunately, when you do not know what to do, you have apowerful and useful source of information for how to proceed: the behavior andactions of other people. Asking others or observing what they do helps you tomake your way through an otherwise novel or ambiguous situation. The behaviorand actions of other people provide social proof of what is the most frequentand appropriate behavior for the situation. Social psychologists call this typeof influence Informational Social Influence.

Information is only one reason that leads you to conform to the behavior ofother people. Human beings, by nature, are social animals; you have to interactwith other people to be healthy and happy. There are important benefits tohaving relationships with other people, such as love, affection, emotionalsupport, and, sometimes, a free meal. There also are important costs to beingalone. Research shows, for example, that people who live in isolation fromothers tend to experience more stress, which can contribute to physicalillness. Living in isolation also tends to cause depression. Thus, it isimportant to your physical and psychological well-being to have positiverelationships with other people.

Given this fundamental need for social companionship, it should not besurprising that you often have to conform to be accepted by others. Simply put,in order to belong, you have to live by other people’s rules. The rules forconduct set by others are commonly referred to as norms—socially shared rulesor standards for behavioral conduct. When you want to know how to behave in agiven situation, it is useful to understand the generally accepted rules orstandards for behavior set down by your group for that situation. Violation ofthe rules means that you will be punished by the group and possibly excludedfrom being in the group altogether.

Conformity for the sake of group membership is called Normative SocialInfluence. Norms tell you what most people believe is the appropriate behavior,and the power of a norm on your behavior depends on the power of others toreward or punish you for conforming to their rules for conduct.

To prepare for this Discussion:

• Read Chapter 7 in the course text, Persuasion: Psychological Insights andPerspectives.

• Reflect on what the “rule of reciprocity” is and why it exists insociety. Determine if it operates based on informational or normative socialinfluence. Be sure you understand the examples of how reciprocity is used toinfluence sales and other consumer behaviors. Be able to describe the stepsrequired to use the door-in-the-face strategy, and also consider some of theways in which it could be implemented incorrectly (as illustrated in Figure7.3).

• Think about how the behavior of others creates “social validation.”Determine if it is a form of informational or normative social influence. Besure you understand how you respond when you receive conflicting socialvalidation information. Be able to describe why similarity plays a role insocial validation and how to use the list technique to persuade.

• Consider some reasons for why it is important to appear consistent to others.Think about why commitment is critical to this process, and determine ifconsistency is driven primarily by informational or normative social influence.

• Review the steps involved in the four-walls technique and thefoot-in-the-door strategy. Think about why you would have trouble walking awayfrom an offer when someone uses a bait-and-switch or a low-ball strategy.Consider why you would or would not be persuaded by a paltry-favors strategy.

• Reflect on the many ways in which people can persuade you by creating theperception that they are your friend, that they like you, that they areattractive or attracted to you, share similar attitudes and beliefs, or are anauthority figure. Determine which of these influence strategies operates basedon informational or normative social influence.

• Define scarcity and think about the two major reasons for why it ispersuasive. Determine whether it operates based on informational or normativesocial influence. Consider whether you would experience psychological reactanceif someone used a scarcity strategy to influence your consumer behavior. Thinkabout how the different uses of the deadline technique can influence yourbehavior.

• Finally, consider the author’s ideas about how you can avoid or resist beinginfluenced by these strategies.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a description of a time when you were influenced by areciprocity, social validation, commitment, or scarcity strategy. Describe thesteps in the strategy that were used and explain the psychological process bywhich the strategy influenced your attitudes and/or behavior. Determine if itwas informational or normative social influence. Finally, explain what youcould have done to avoid being influenced by the strategy. 2 to 3 paragraphs.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to theLearning Resources.

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