Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Peer Pressure

  • Bin-Bin ChenEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3619-1



Peer pressure is the influence on people by peer-defined norms on how to behave, think, and feel.


Living in social groups may enhance an individual’s fitness. Throughout evolutionary history, humans have tended to live in large complex groups, and one of the reasons we evolved large brains was because having a large brain facilitates interaction with a lot of people and the establishment and maintenance of a wide social network (Dunbar 2010). Because of the importance of group life humans are susceptible to peer pressure, in particular we are more susceptible to peer pressure than our closest living relatives, chimpanzees (Nettle et al. 2013).

Peer Pressure and Child Development

Peer pressure becomes apparent in early childhood, when children begin to explore the social world outside their own home. Group socialization theory of development (Harris 1995) asserts that parents do not play as big a role in their...


Peer Pressure Human Group Life Large Complex Groups Group Socialization Theory Clothing Selection 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Menelaos Apostolou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus