EMPOWER Addiction Recovery



There are 3 major components to Social Influence :

COMPLIANCE:  Changing one’s behavior to avoid conflict.

Compliance also occurs within groups (society). One must adapt his/her actions to another’s wishes or rules. Compliance occurs in everyone’s lives. Compliance does not change beliefs. People are compliant daily; following traffic laws, your boss gives you a directive, your Professor gives you an assignment following policy and procedure.

OBEDIENCE:  Changing one’s behavior or beliefs in response to the demands of a more powerful person.

Obedience is the act of following orders because these orders are from a legitimate authority. We obey our parents, the police, our bosses, fire-fighters, and on occasion your Professors……

CONFORMITY:  Changing one’s behavior and beliefs in response
to the behaviors of others.

Conforming, changing attitudes and beliefs in order to match those within the group. Those that conform are compliant AND obedient. In order to conform there must be a leader within the group or conformity within the group would be less prevalent. Failure to conform will result in loss of credibility and being outcast from the group.social effect

Other people can influence us either through direct attempts at persuasion, or more indirectly through their presence and the transmission of cultural values……..

Propaganda is information of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view, these are ideas or statements that are false and exaggerated and that are spread in order to inflame the populace.

Peer Pressure  is the influence of the social group on an individual.

Peers are the individuals with whom a child, adolescent, OR adult identifies with, who are usually but not always of the same age-group.

Peer pressure occurs when the individual experiences implicit ofr explicit persuasion, sometimes amounting to coercion, to adopt similar values, beliefs, and goals, or to participate in the same activities as those in the peer group.

Group Think  Strikes tightly-knit groups – Results in hesitation to dissent in order to preserve solidarity.

Group discussions are discouraged because discussion may cause members to shift to different positions, retaining a sense of open-mindedness, changing perspectives.

Fundamental Attribution Error:

People are prone to the fundamental attribution error, the tendency to overestimate the role of traits and underestimate the role of the situation in determining people’s behavior.

Attribution – the mental process of inferring the causes of people’s behavior, including one’s own. Also used to refer to the explanation made for a particular behavior.

The fundamental attribution error – we tend to spontaneously attribute the behavior of others to internal, personal characteristics

  • Downplaying or underestimating the effects of external, situational factors
  • Plays a role in a common explanatory pattern called blaming the victim – an innocent victim is blamed for somehow causing a misfortune
  • Just world hypothesis – a victim must have done something
    wrong because the world is fair


The self-serving bias – the tendency to attribute successful outcomes of one’s own behavior to internal causes, and unsuccessful outcomes to external situational causes

Self-Justification – Making excuses for oneself or one’s behavior, justifying one’s actions or lack thereof

Self-interests colors or taints are social judgment!!


Do: Informational Social Influence
Influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept others’ opinions about reality

DO: Social Facilitation
Improve performance of tasks in the presence of others, this occurs with simple or well-learned tasks but not with tasks that are difficult or not yet mastered

DO NOT: De-Individuation
Loss of self-awareness and self-restraint in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity

Do Not: Social Loafing
Tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable, EXAMPLE: GROUP PRESENTATIONS AND PROJECTS.


Aronson, E., (2012) The Social Animal (11th ed). New York : Worth Publishers
Myers, D, Exploring Social Psychology, (7th ed). McGraw Hill.

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