Normative Social influence is like a strong power that affects how we act, what we believe, and the choices we make. We can divide it into two main types: normative and informative social influence. In this article, we’re going to look closely at how these two types of influence are different, how they work, and what impact they have on people and communities. We’ll explain these ideas in simple words to make sure everyone can understand.
Normative Social Influence
Normative social influence is when you feel pushed to do what a group or society expects. This happens because you want people to like you, accept you, and not reject you. So, you might change how you act or what you believe to be part of a group or to avoid them disliking you. It’s like following the crowd, even if it means doing something you don’t really want to do.
For example, think about a group of friends who all cheer for a specific sports team. You might not care much about sports, but you could feel the pressure to support that same team, just to fit in with your friends and not be left out.
Informative Social Influence
Informative social influence is when you’re not sure what to do in a situation, so you look at what others are doing for guidance. You do this because you think they might know more or be experts in that area. You follow them because you believe they have good information or useful insights.
For example, if you start a new job and you’re not sure how to do a task, you might watch how your more experienced colleagues do it. You figure they know the best way, so you copy what they’re doing to learn from them.
- Why People Do It: When people follow normative social influence, they usually do it because they want others to like them and feel like they belong. On the other hand, informative social influence happens when people want the right information or help.
- What Happens: Normative influence makes people do things to fit in, even if it goes against what they really believe. Informative influence makes people follow others because they think those people know more or are better at something.
- Change in Behavior: With normative influence, people might change how they act on the outside but still keep their own beliefs inside. Informative influence can make people truly change their beliefs or opinions because they’ve learned something new.
- Real-Life Examples: Think about fashion trends or when you do something just because your friends are doing it. That’s normative influence. On the other hand, if you listen to a doctor’s advice about staying healthy or ask for advice when making an important choice, that’s an informative influence.
Related Article: Overjustification Effect: Reaping Rewards, Losing Passion
Effects of Normative Social Influence on Individuals and Society
Normative social influence can affect people and society in a few ways:
- Wanting to Be Liked: People might really want others to like them, so they do what others do to fit in.
- Doing What Others Do: This type of influence makes people do things like others, even if they don’t want to.
- Pressure from Friends: Sometimes, friends can push you to act or think in a certain way because of normative influence.
- Fear of Not Belonging: People might be scared of not being part of a group, so they follow what the group does.
- Keeping Harmful Ways: Normative influence can make society keep doing things that are not good because people are afraid to be different.
- Being Unfair: It can lead to treating some people unfairly because everyone else is doing it.
- Not Allowing Uniqueness: In societies with a lot of normative influence, it can be tough for unique ideas and different people to stand out.
- Staying Together: On a good note, normative influence can help people feel like they belong to a group.
Effects of Informative Social Influence on Individuals and Society
Here’s how informative social influence can affect people and society:
- Learning and Growing: People can learn new and important stuff from experts or those who know more. This helps them become smarter and better.
- Making Better Choices: Informative influence helps people make smarter decisions because they listen to experts or those who have good advice.
- Being Open to New Ideas: It encourages people to be open to different ideas and ways of thinking, making them more flexible.
- Solving Problems: Informative influence can make people better at solving problems because they think about many different solutions.
- Sharing Knowledge: In societies influenced by informative social influence, people share what they know, which helps everyone learn and grow.
- Coming Up with New Ideas: It encourages people to think up new and creative ideas because they’re open to different ways of thinking.
- Making Smart Choices: Societies influenced by informative influence often make smart decisions that lead to good results.
- Including Everyone: It promotes the idea of including everyone’s opinions and different ways of thinking in a society.
Related Topic: Social Desirability Bias: When Perception Paints Reality
Normative and informative social influence are big parts of how people act and make choices when they’re with others. Knowing about these ideas helps us understand how our social world works, which can be tricky.
Normative influence usually makes us do things to be accepted by others. Informative influence helps us learn and make better choices.
When we recognize these influences, we can make decisions that match our beliefs and create a fair and inclusive society. It’s important to find a balance between fitting in and making smart choices.