There is so much more we humans need to know about
dependency and love, jealousy, submissiveness, painful rejection,
anger, etc. Chapter 9 helps us understand ourselves and relationships;
chapter 10 deals with love and sex.
Reactions to social influence
When someone or a family or a social-cultural group tries to
influence you, there are several ways you can respond. You can argue
and rebel. You can go along with the idea or request or tradition, in
which case there are three types of reactions you can have (Aronson,
Compliance, as we have seen in the Asch and Milgram studies
above, is agreeing with the request or idea in order to get some
payoff, perhaps just to avoid unwanted consequences. Thus,
family members may gather at Mom and Dad's every Sunday,
because the parents would be hurt if the children didn't.
Likewise, students do homework to avoid a low grade. People
do hard labor for money. Take away the grading system or the
pay, and the work won't be done. Underlying compliance, in
this case, is power--the ability to reward and punish.
Identification is where you want to be like someone else and,
thus, do and think what they do. Thus, if your favorite aunt is a
singer, you may study hard on your voice and guitar lessons in
order to be like her. If your father is a republican, you may
vote that way because you identify with him and respect his
political views. Underlying identification is an attraction--having
adopted the other person's ways and values because of the
appeal of the person, not because of the validity or morality of
his/her ideas. If you start to dislike that person, your actions,
ideas, and values may change.
Internalization is based on the desire to be right. If you hear a
speaker who seems knowledgeable say something that makes
good sense to you, you are likely to accept these ideas as your
own. This is the strongest and most permanent reaction to
social influence because our motivation to be right is powerful.
You keep these opinions until they are proven wrong.
If we are hoping to change some behavior or belief acquired via
social influence, it would clearly be helpful to know if it was acquired
because it paid off or because of identification or internalization.