Anytime we find ourselves part of a group, we feel some susceptibility to peer pressure and/or the opinions of others in the group. The more esteem we feel for the group, the more their opinions matter to us, and therefore the more we feel pressured to align our own opinions with those of the group. Even when we don’t really agree with the group, we will often go along with the group in order to be rewarded instead of punished, or liked instead of scorned.
In an interesting study, researchers had very young children who were terrified of dogs watch a little boy play with his dog for twenty minutes a day. After only four days, 67 percent of the children were willing to sit in a playpen with a dog and even remain with it when everyone else left the room. The results were lasting, too: One month later, the same children were just as eager to play with dogs. In a similar study, children who were afraid of dogs were influenced just as readily by films of a child playing with a dog as they were when watching a live child play with a dog.
In another study, participants were asked to identify the longer of two lines displayed on a screen. One line was clearly longer than the other, but some participants had been privately instructed prior to the study to state that the shorter line was longer. The surprising result was that several of the unsuspecting participants actually gave in to social pressure and changed their answers! Over the course of the entire study, 75 percent of the participants gave the incorrect answer at least one time. In a related study conducted by Asch, it was determined that even when the correct answer is obvious, individuals will knowingly give the incorrect answer 37 percent of the time, just to go along with the consensus.
Another study was set up to test whether passersby would stare in the same direction and look up if there was another group of people already doing so. The researchers arranged groups of one to fifteen people to congregate in New York City at 33 West 42nd Street. A video camera was set up on the 6th floor to catch the results on tape. Sure enough, the more people in the group who were already gawking and looking into the air, the more passersby who stopped, came over and stared, and looked up themselves!
When participants were asked to view a political debate among George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot, it was found that the mere presence of a confederate who cheered for one of the candidates influenced the participant’s overall evaluation of that candidate in a positive manner. Obviously, when receiving information in a social setting, the audience can be skewed to perceive the information the way the group tends to hear it.
You know how you often you have heard canned laughter on television sitcoms even when there isn’t anything really funny happening? Studies prove that using canned laughter actually influences audience members to laugh longer and more frequently, and to give the material higher ratings for its “funniness.” Even for the portions of the show that seem to have no humor at all, producers use laugh tracks to get us to laugh along. The sad part is that it actually works! There is evidence that canned laughter is most effective when the joke is really bad. When two audiences watch the same show, and one hears a laugh track while the other doesn’t, it’s always the audience that hears the laugh track that laughs the most!
In a way, this is an obvious observation. Anyone who has ever been to the movies knows that the size of the crowd in the theater has a big effect on how good the movie seems: The larger the crowd, the funnier the comedies are. The larger the crowd, the scarier the horror flick is. Consider the following other examples:
* Conforming because you believe everyone else is correct
* Conforming because you fear the social rejection of not going along
* Conforming simply because it’s the norm
* Conforming because of cultural influences
In yet another study, researchers wanted to see whether mothers who had just given birth to their first child would be more likely to adhere to guidelines for their new babies’ nutrition when instructed individually or in a group. The mothers were told that it could be important to give their new babies cod-liver oil and orange juice. The mother’s were taught either one-by-one by a nutritionist associated with the hospital or in groups of six. The study found that when taught in a group setting, the mothers were far more inclined to give their babies cod-liver oil and orange juice than those who had been taught individually.
Kurt Mortensen’s trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available!
If you are ready to claim your success and learn what only the ultra-prosperous know, begin by going to http://www.PreWealth.com and getting my free report “10 Mistakes That Continue Costing You Thousands.” After reading my free report, go to http://www.PreWealth.com/IQ and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale!
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