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The idea of the self-categorization theory is that people conform to the norms of certain social groups whenever they have a personal desire to feel like they belong.
It is irrelevant whether a norm reflects people's preference, as long as the behavior is associated with the group.
We follow arbitrary norms that offer no rational reason for us to conform to them. The norms can snowball when we are influenced by people's earlier decisions.
For instance, if we see a packed restaurant next to an empty one, we assume the packed restaurant must be better. It is possible that an initial arbitrary decision by some early restaurant-goers cascaded into one restaurant being popular and the other one not.
Increasingly, social norms are being used to encourage pro-social behavior. They have been successfully used to encourage:
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While eating out, shopping, or during a donation drive, some of us make choices that we wouldn’t normally make.
Studies on consumer behaviour show that while some would mimic or copy the be...
Our choices become influenced by society, and this creates a vicious circle where what is being done by the other person is seen as appropriate to others.
Extensive studies show people replicate parts of behaviour in a social setting while showing their own preference towards some aspects of the decision. Example: While opting to donate in charitable institutions, people would match the amount but choose a charity of their own preference.
Many people are susceptible to follow and be ruled by an authority figure and obey commands that defy logic, reasoning and are also unfair or dangerous to others.
Normally, we utilize the ‘high road’, the main regions of the brain (thoughtfulness and reasoning) before any information reaches the amygdala (region of emotional response).
When a brain reacts due to any kind of threat, the main brain regions are skipped as the ‘low road’ is taken, sending the information directly to the emotional processing region, activating stress, anxiety and fear-based reactions.
It's a cognitive bias that causes people to think or act in a certain manner because they believe that other people are doing the same.
For example, the bandwagon effect might cause...
It serves as a mental shortcut that people instinctively use in order to make a decision quickly.
Specifically, bandwagon cues, which are signs that other people believe something or are doing something, can trigger the thought that “if other people like this, then I should too”.