Full Answer Family Matters One way that society influences people is through laws and rules that determine how they should behave. For example, parents establish rules for their families that show the children proper behavior. They may insist that children wait their turn before speaking instead of interrupting other or that children must sit or lie on the furniture instead of jumping and climbing on it.
In his latest book, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape BehaviorJonah Berger, a marketing professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, discusses the ways in which our behavior is shaped by others and examines our constant struggle to be optimally distinct—not too different and not too similar.
You begin your book by talking about your research on BMW owners and how they perceive themselves and others. What were the origins of the research?
The research actually started with an anecdote. I was in Washington, DC visiting my family and talking to my father. When they become partner, the first thing they do is buy a new BMW.
Often because it has a nonconscious effect on our behavior, we are not aware that it is influencing us. The effect that it has is not as simplistic as we might think.
We often tend to think of influence as conforming or imitation, people doing the same thing as others. That happens sometimes, but just as often people differentiate themselves. They want to be optimally distinct, or similar but different.
Invisible Influence is all about how sometimes seemingly conflicting motivations shape our behavior, and how by understanding the science we can all live healthier and happier lives.
Why do you think people are so reluctant to admit that they are just as impressionable as everyone else? There are two reasons.
One is that in most cases, particularly in American culture, influence is a bad word. We may have bought a shirt and thought that we bought it because we like the color or because we like the price. Is social influence really inevitable or is it possible to overcome it by being aware of the ways we are influenced?
The most interesting question is not if we can correct against it, but should we correct against it. We definitely have this notion that being influenced is bad, and indeed there are cases where being influenced is bad, but there are just as many cases where being influenced is helpful.
Life would be a lot harder. Others often provide useful information that helps us make better and faster decisions. They also help us get motivated. Comparing ourselves to others encourages us to work harder and perform better. Just as influence can hurt, it can also help. The reason I wrote the book was really to help people be aware of influence.
In your book, you mention the role of influence in politics. I was recently working with a group that wanted conservatives to support clean energy. If you think about it, conservatives should love this type of energy. It reduces reliance on foreign oil, which helps national security.
Even in important decisions such as how we vote, others have an impact on our decisions. Like what you see? What about influence in the current election? I think that candidates are very aware that voting is not an individual decision, particularly for young folks.
We love to see ourselves as different. How do companies take advantage of the extent to which social influence affects what people buy? Is there a company that comes to mind that harnesses social influence in a particularly positive way?This influences what work they do and how they perform it.
People also learn to communicate with one another as they develop, which means learning a common language and expressing thoughts and feelings orally and in writing.
How Does Fashion Affect Our Lives? A: How Does Music Influence Culture? A. Media influences on young people’s emotional health, attitudes and behaviours is a complicated matter and it’s the topic of this issue of the Review.
It is our hope is that the articles will stimulate discussion, prompt exploration of the ways in which young patients understand and respond to media influences, and remind us of the need for. Others think that social media is about the way we get many updates from people who we follow and maybe someone out there thinks social media is a part of a new marketing strategy.
Nowadays, social media seems like a big part of our life. Whether we’re buying a car because our neighbor bought one recently, or we’re supporting a cause because we can tell that people are doing it, companies and organizations that make behavior visible can harness influence to get their message to catch on.
This helps our sponsors create a cadence with them and gets their ideal customer completing meaningful actions in their app. Our players earn points each day they use the app, when they reach new levels or accomplish tasks like registration or in-app purchase. We actually bought it because we saw other people wearing something similar, but, because we’re unaware that influence occurred, we can’t correct for it or recognize it in our world.
It’s a little bit like Goldilocks.