Social Influence is a concept that has been studied extensively in the field of psychology. It refers to the way that people influence each other’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Understanding social influence is important because it can help us better understand how individuals and groups function within society.

So, who created the theory of social influence? The answer to this question is not straightforward because there have been many researchers who have contributed to our understanding of social influence over the years. However, two names that are commonly associated with the development of social influence theory are Muzafer Sherif and Solomon Asch.

Muzafer Sherif was a Turkish-American psychologist who is best known for his work on social norms and group dynamics. In the 1930s, Sherif conducted a series of experiments that demonstrated how people’s perceptions of reality can be influenced by others in their group.

One of his most famous experiments involved placing participants in a dark room with a small point of light and asking them to estimate how far the light moved when it was actually stationary. Sherif found that participants’ estimates were influenced by the estimates provided by others in their group.

Solomon Asch was an American psychologist who conducted his own series of experiments on social influence in the 1950s. Asch’s most famous experiment involved asking participants to match line lengths with other lines that were clearly either longer or shorter.

The catch was that all but one participant in each group were confederates (i.e., actors) who purposely gave incorrect answers. Asch found that participants often went along with the incorrect answers given by their peers, even when it meant going against their own senses.

Both Sherif and Asch’s experiments helped to shape our understanding of social influence and paved the way for future research on this topic. Other notable contributors include Robert Cialdini, who wrote “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” which outlines six principles of social influence, and Herbert Kelman, who developed the concept of “compliance, identification, and internalization” as three different ways that people can be influenced by others.

In conclusion, while there is no one person who can be credited with creating the theory of social influence, Muzafer Sherif and Solomon Asch are two researchers whose work has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of this important concept. By studying how people influence each other’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, we can gain insights into how societies function and how we can work to create positive change.