What is the social proof?
“ Where all think equally, nobody thinks too much … “ This statement of Walter Lippman in many respects characterizes behavior of society or such concept of psychology as “ MY “.
Many people, to solve what to trust to and how to work in the arisen situation, are guided by what they trust to and that do others in similar situations. The such phenomenon Robert Chaldini (the expert in the field of experimental and social psychology) designated the social proof as . This peculiar tendency to imitation is found by
not only in children, but also in most of adults. The scope of the principle of the social proof is wide also a mnogofunktsionalna. The purpose of this concept is in subordinating the person to this or that requirement. The mechanism is rather simple, the person is told that many people (the more the better) agree or already agreed with this requirement.
A striking and effective example of use of the principle of the social proof as means of a manipulation mass consciousness for the purpose of increase in sales of any goods or services is advertizing. The advertiser as very shrewd psychologist studies real audience. Work with the consumer demands good knowledge of features of that segment of the market for which advertizing will work. Usually advertisers create a certain myth about goods. Major factors of implementation of this myth in reality is emergence of a number of the bases.
1. I will buy these goods because it to me was recommended by my friend. Position of authoritative opinion .
2. I will buy these goods because I buy it always. Preference position.
3. I will buy these goods now because then it can not be. Uncertainty position. the position of uncertainty does by
the principle of the social proof to the most effective. Let`s assume, there was such situation: You walk in the park, and suddenly see: in bushes the person lies. Anyway, you begin to doubt need of assistance to this person as you do not see around persons interested to help it. Most of people who observe such picture, consider this person drunk, not needing the help. But everything can be much worse if the person really needs the help, for example, it is heart troubles.
Thus when people doubt, and the situation is represented to them uncertain, they are more inclined to pay attention to actions of others. Moreover, these people consider these actions true as they are carried out by the majority. In this case the social proof relieves responsibility from a certain person, thereby shifts all responsibility to society where there was this situation.
The position of similarity or imitation has the distribution among the people inclined to follow the example of those who are similar to them or to whom they are similar. People with such living position can copy all moments of life of the “ idol “ since appearance, style in clothes, the vital principles and even his death. A cult example of this position is the mysterious death of the soloist of " group; Ivanushki... “ Igor Sorin. After this tragedy many fans of Igor decided on suicide.
In our life there is a big set of social proofs - one are faithful advisers in current situations, others false. The side between false and true happens conditional. It is sometimes better to rely on the intuition and attitudes, than opinion “ crowds “ which is surely manipulated by somebody the third. I wish you good luck!