Social Influence Theory Kelman is a psychological theory that seeks to explain how individuals are influenced by others in their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Developed by Herbert Kelman in the 1950s, this theory explores the different ways in which people conform to social norms and conform to group pressures.
Three Processes of Social Influence Theory Kelman
Kelman proposed three processes through which individuals are influenced by others:
- Compliance: Compliance refers to a situation where individuals publicly change their behavior or opinions to fit in with a group, but privately maintain their original beliefs or attitudes. This can occur due to the desire for social approval or fear of social rejection.
- Identification: Identification occurs when individuals change their behavior or opinions both publicly and privately because they identify with a particular group or individual.
They adopt the beliefs and values of the group as part of their own identity.
- Internalization: Internalization is the most profound form of influence, where individuals genuinely accept and integrate the beliefs, opinions, and values of others into their own. The adopted attitudes become part of their core belief system.
Factors Affecting Social Influence
Social influence can be affected by various factors. Some key factors include:
- Social Norms: People tend to conform to social norms to be accepted and avoid rejection. Normative influence plays a significant role in shaping individual behavior.
- Ambiguity: In situations where there is uncertainty or ambiguity, individuals are more likely to turn to others for guidance.
They seek conformity with others’ opinions or behaviors as a way to reduce uncertainty.
- Expertise: Individuals are more likely to be influenced by those they perceive as experts or having superior knowledge in a particular domain. Expert influence can lead to internalization of beliefs and attitudes.
Applications of Social Influence Theory Kelman
Social Influence Theory Kelman has practical applications in various domains, including:
- Marketing: Marketers often use social influence strategies to shape consumer behavior. They may utilize testimonials from celebrities or influencers to encourage consumers to adopt certain products or behaviors.
- Persuasive Communication: Understanding the processes of social influence can help in creating persuasive messages that appeal to different types of audiences.
By considering compliance, identification, and internalization, communicators can tailor their messages effectively.
- Social Change: Social influence theory plays a crucial role in understanding how social change occurs. It helps identify key individuals or groups who can act as influencers and catalysts for change within society.
Social Influence Theory Kelman provides valuable insights into the complex dynamics of human behavior within social contexts. By understanding the processes of compliance, identification, and internalization, we can better comprehend how individuals are influenced by others and how this affects their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
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