top-rated free essay

Reaction Paper

By nickoo89 Oct 12, 2008 887 Words
Social psychology is the area of psychology that studies how people are influenced by each other. Social influence is a major part of social psychology. There are two types of social influence. They are normative social influence and informational social influence. Both normative and informational social influence are theoretical concepts because you cannot see the information being passed. Conformity is a result of social influence. Even if people do not realize it, they are conforming in society everyday as a result of social influence.

As humans we feel the need to belong to social groups. In these social groups we conform to the rules of other people, sometimes without even realizing it. We most often conform to these rules around complete strangers. We follow other people’s behavior and decisions because that is what is considered normal or accepted. This, in psychology, is known as normative social influence. Normative social influence is all about how people go along with social norms. According to, social norms are “the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.” We do this because people provide rewards and punishments for our behaviors. For example, there is a social norm of not singing loudly on a crowded bus. If a person were to sing loudly on a crowed bus, he or she would likely receive some punishment for it. The punishment would probably be weird looks from people, or possibly being made fun of. Another example of normative social influence, and a very common one among people my age, is the way people dress. People often dress a certain way to get the reward of being popular or people liking them.

Informational social influence occurs when we do not know what to do or how to act, so we copy what other people are doing. Those people thus act as information sources for us. We assume they know what they are doing, although we usually do not know for sure because information social influence is often non-verbal. We often follow what other people do because it is a very safe choice of action. We always look for the safest choice of action because we care what other people think of us. Private acceptance is when we believe the other person is right. This can sometimes lead to permanent changes in beliefs, values and behaviors. Public compliance is when we copy other people because we fear rejection or ridicule. Informational social influence occurs most often when the situation is ambiguous, there is a crisis or there are experts around. A situation is ambiguous when there are choices but we do not know which to select. In a crisis we have no time to think. A decision is required immediately. When there are experts around, we assume they know more than us, so we trust them.

People usually think of conformity as a bad thing. Some examples of conformity that people often think of are drinking, smoking, doing drugs and having sex because that is what other people are doing. Those are examples of conformity; however, conformity is not always bad. There are two types of conformity. They are public and private conformity. Private conformity is when your behavior is consistent with your personal beliefs and values. An example of private conformity is when you wear certain clothes because you like them, not because other people like them. Public conformity is when your behavior goes against your personal beliefs or values. An example of public conformity is when you wear clothes that you don’t like because other people like them. Solomon Asch is known for his research on conformity.

In my own life I conform and receive social influence just about everyday. Just the other day in one of the dining halls on campus one of the hand scanners was not working. There was no sign saying that it was not working, but I assumed something was wrong with it because no one was in line for it. After I passed through I asked the lady working there, and she confirmed that it was broken. This was an example of informational social influence. Another example of informational social influence I see everyday is at crosswalks on streets. There is often one person that is in a hurry so he crosses before the light changes. Other people see him crossing so they begin to cross without looking at the cross light or for traffic. This is a very common and dangerous form of informational social influence here at UGA. I am influenced by public social influence at all times. I could start singing or dancing in the middle of class, but I don’t because I don’t want to receive the punishment that comes along with it.

Social conformity and social influence are around us all the time. Most people do not recognize it in everyday life, but it is there. Social influence is a theoretical aspect of social psychology because you cannot see information being passed from one person to another. As long as humans care about what others think of them, there will be social influence and conformity. It has been a part of life on Earth for a long time and will continue to be in the future.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • School Papers

    ...You can buy custom school papers starting at $13/page You can buy school papers online, but qualified school papers are difficult to come by; that is why we developed a service where you can order custom papers for school. We provide you will all the help to write your school paper at the high standard requirements of your school. Papers that...

    Read More
  • Paper Mache

    ...always make the last layer of mache with white computer paper or paper towel so that painting is easier. It takes FAR less paint. If you don't do this, consider priming the project with white acrylic paint before you let the kids at it with the poster paint· Make paper mache paste (there are many different options): · OPTION 1: 3/4 white g...

    Read More
  • Enzymes and Paper

    ...Infographic Project Enzymes are organic catalysts produced by living organisms which aid in the progression of specific biochemical reactions without undergoing any permanent chemical changes themselves. They are complex, conjugated proteins necessary and required to sustain life. Today, enzymes are also used world-wide in a variety of differ...

    Read More
  • Reflective Paper

    ...Therefore, it has become an exciting time for me to have my mind engaged with the various works that I am doing and being able to put those thoughts onto paper. Through my time in college, I have learned the importance of writing and the skills it teaches me for the real world. Individuals interpretations bring out many insights to ones writin...

    Read More
  • Paper Cheater

    ...Writing papers was another challenge and when it came to writing papers I used to type over a previous paper to use that as an outline, since I had no idea what I was doing and even how to begin writing a paper. Writing 101s has really to shown me how to layout a paper and how to reference my work into the body of the paper. Previously I waited ...

    Read More
  • Maths C1 Papers

    ...Paper Reference(s) 6663 Edexcel GCE Core Mathematics C1 Advanced Subsidiary Monday 10 January 2005  Afternoon Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Materials required for examination Mathematical Formulae (Green) Items included with question papers Nil Calculators may NOT be used in this examination. Instructions to Candidates In the bo...

    Read More
  • Recycle Paper

    ...steps that help this world reduce pollution, as well as consumption of raw material. There are many items that we can recycle such as glass, paper, metal, plastic and also electronic items. The most widely used product as a student is papers. At the end of each year, students usually will throw their books and notes which can actually be recycle...

    Read More
  • Past Papers

    ...Biology past papers 2002 1 List an external feature of each of the following types of organism that would identify the Group to which it belongs. type of... Premium * Business Past Paper CXC PAST PAPERS SOCIAL STUDIES Before you begin to write your answers, choose OE of the following topics and write it in the space provided. (i) 'The... ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.