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Social proof: is there always safety in numbers?

Social proof: is there always safety in numbers?

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Social proof

First coined by Robert Cialdini in 1984, social proof is also known as informational social influence. In his book Influence: Science and Practice, he discusses social proof as one of the influential psychological principles that persuade us to behave in certain ways.

Positive public reviews and ratings persuade us that a company or their product is trustworthy. Endorsements from specialists such as doctors or dentists also encourage consumers to choose a recommended product rather than one with no professional testimonial, even if the products are otherwi...

  • Herd mentality can prevent us from practicing critical thinking and exploring new, innovative ideas.
  • Even if an opinion is held by a large group of people, this does not necessarily make it correct.
  • Following the crowd can lead people to mak...

  • Be mindful of influencers. Successful influencers are incredibly persuasive. When you see a product or argument being advertised, be aware of the underlying mechanism of influence at play.
  • Interrogate your own beliefs. It can feel easier and quicker ...

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The less you say, the more intimidating and powerful you are. Always say less than necessary. When you do speak, make it vague and ambiguous, leaving the meaning to others to interpret. They’ll be frustrated and obsessed with trying to figure you out. 

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