We can all relate to a time in our lives where we might have acted differently because of social influence, opposed to if we were by ourselves. Social psychology is the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another. Most times conformity, adjusting our behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard is why we tend to behave differently than normal. There are a couple types of influences that reflect such behavior.
Normative social influence is influence resulting from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval. This happens because we as humans are sensitive to the understood rules for accepted and expected behavior—known as norms. I personally feel that most teenagers and young adults in this day and age are subject to social influence because these ages of life are critically a time where everyone wants to “fit in” with one another. One might say in today’s world, it’s normal for a teen to experiment with alcohol before they reach the appropriate age of twenty one for the consumption of alcohol. Most times these behaviors are encouraged by peers and usually a young individual ends up facing peer pressure into doing such an action they wouldn’t usually or even think about doing if they were by themselves and not with their friends. Another example of normative social influence within teenagers is clothing. If a group of kids in school who are typically known as “popular” are always seen wearing name brand clothing, other students will be influenced to go out and get those name brand clothes to belong. Social media also comes into play with this because kids may be getting their “influence” of what clothes are in style from seeing them on celebrities and such. When I was in middle school I witnessed this happen first hand. I noticed some of my Caucasian peers were the ones who were wearing Hollister, Abercrombie, or Aeropostale. The African American students were more into the urban name...
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