Social Influence


Individual behaviour is rarely an individual response to a context. It is more often a response to social influence directed either through the socialisation processes of childhood or through the social influence of the behaviour of others in that context, that is, the effect of groups, crowds, public opinion, etc. Most of us like to observe the behaviour of others in order to gain cues about the response appropriate to the situation. This can often be seen in voting behaviour at committee meetings, in whether to laugh at a doubtful joke, or to give an opinion about a new book or first-night play. Individual public behaviour (that is, behaviour others will be aware of) is much constrained by social influences.


Social Influence Social Facilitation Correctional Officer Naive Subject Shock Level 
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Further Reading

  1. Gehagan, J. (1975). Interpersonal and Group Behaviour (London: Methuen)Google Scholar
  2. Reich, B. and Adcock, J. (1976). Values, Attitudes and Behaviour Change (London: Methuen)Google Scholar
  3. Wheldall, K. (1975). Social Behaviour (London: Methuen)Google Scholar
  4. Wrightman, L.S. (1972). Social Psychology in the Seventies (Monterey: Brooks Cole)Google Scholar
  5. DiMatteo, M. and Friedmann, H.S. (1982). Social Psychology and Medicine (New York: Oelgeschlager)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

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