Perhaps we are all just puppets in the hands of some overbearing puppeteer? Most people are sure that this is not the case. They make independent decisions and create their own destiny.
But they are wrong. As noted by psychologist Jay Olson of McGill University in Quebec, Canada, " many of our decisions depend on external factors that we don't know about, and we are quite sure that the idea belongs to us." The question is whether we can learn to recognize this influence and successfully resist it.
The principle of social proof works especially effectively when a person finds himself in a confusing or ambiguous situation, and he does not have time to understand it. "In any incomprehensible situation, do as everyone else does" — Social Proof solves all problems at once. When we want to buy a new gadget and puzzle over which model to choose, the decisive criterion for us is often reviews and ratings. The principle of social proof is deeply rooted in modern business. No longer need to prove to a potential customer how good the product is, it is enough to note that the majority thinks so.
Today, marketers strongly recommend that owners of sites and various pages do not advertise counters if the indicators on them are modest. A large number of subscribers is the best sign of quality and a reason to subscribe too. This also applies to site traffic.
Another painful example of using the principle of social proof is sketches and humorous series. Viewers often complain that they are annoyed by the background laughter after each joke. However, this does not affect the effectiveness of the method. People are used to focusing on the reaction of others when determining what is funny and often react not to a joke, but the accompanying voice-over laughter.
By the way, Social proof served as the basis for the emergence of some professions. For example, a Clacker is a person who comes to a performance for a certain fee, applaud the loudest and shouts " Bravo!", or a classic example-mourners, "setting the mood" at funerals in Brazil or the Philippines.
This technique sometimes echoes the previous one, but, in contrast, is focused on changing human beliefs rather than behavior. According to this principle, if the same thesis (idea, concept) is repeated many times within a group, its members will eventually accept this statement as true. The American academic and writer Robert Carroll emphasizes that a repeated judgment does not have to be true. It will be believed regardless of whether it is theoretically or practically proven. Moreover, it is believed that people accept on faith, without critical evaluation, and group values, ideas, doctrines, if they identify themselves with this group and do not want to be considered outcasts. This mental phenomenon and the manifestation of conformism is called indoctrination. The opposite of indoctrination phenomena: "social autonomy", "critical", "non-conformism".
A colorful example of the group reinforcement method is the stereotypes, myths, and legends that roam from generation to generation. In addition, the technique is actively used by the media and is an effective tool in information wars. Using clever manipulation of facts and various speech tricks, the media impose certain beliefs on us by systematically repeating the same thoughts. In order to combat such trends, a media education course is being introduced in some countries ' curricula, designed to develop critical thinking among people of all ages.
The rule of mutual exchange
The rule of mutual exchange States that a person is obliged to pay back what the other person provided. In simple words-to respond with good to good. And since any obligations are depressing, I want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Therefore, the rule works and is actively used by some "initiates". Such people may intend to provide a small service with the expectation that in the future they will make a larger request.
One day, Benjamin Franklin had to make contact with a man who openly disliked him. Then Benjamin asked the man to lend him a rare book. Franklin was as polite as possible in his request and thanked the man with even more politeness when he accepted. After this incident, they became good friends.
Feeling like you're needed
The essence of the method of the same name is that people love when they are asked for help. First, starting from the rule of mutual exchange, a person thinks that if necessary, he can count on return service. Secondly, by helping, he feels necessary and useful. And this, as they say, is priceless.
By the way, it is considered that in the beginning, it is better to ask for more than you want to get. If you are suddenly refused, the next time you try, you can voice a real request, and this time it will be inconvenient to refuse.
To take responsibility for themselves
Psychologists have concluded that the desire to be or appear consistent in their actions is an innate feature of a person, which often forces him to go against his interests.
The fact is that in modern society, consistency is considered a virtue. It is associated with honesty, intelligence, strength, and stability. English physicist Michael Faraday said that consistency is valued more than correctness. Inconsistent behavior is usually considered a negative quality and taken for duplicity.
To make a person act in a certain way, you need to start a sequence mechanism in his thinking. The starting point in this mechanism is called commitment by social psychologists. A person who has committed (even if unconsciously) will do everything to fulfill it.
For example, if a person is recognized as the best chess player in the city, after this case they will train three times more, just to justify their duties and status. The sequence mechanism works: "If I am like this, then I must do this and that ...".