Social influencecomprises the ways in which individuals change their behavior to meet the demands of a social environment. It takes many forms and can be seen inconformity,socialization,peer pressure,obedience,leadership,persuasion,sales, andmarketing. Typically social influence results from a specific action, command, or request, but people also alter their attitudes and behaviors in response to what they perceive others might do or think. In 1958, Harvard psychologistHerbert Kelmanidentified three broad varieties of social influence.
- Complianceis when people appear to agree with others but actually keep their dissenting opinions private.
- Identificationis when people are influenced by someone who is liked and respected, such as a famous celebrity.
- Internalizationis when people accept a belief or behavior and agree both publicly and privately.
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