Chapter 6 Artifacts

#1: Deindividuation

Column: Washington sports fans show their major league mettle | WTOP

Deindividuation is the group results in a loss of individual indentity and a gaining of the social identity of the group, the tendency “to get lost in the crowd.” Deindividuation happens in everyday life such as gangs, cults, sports teams, and the military (Gass & Seiter, 2018 p. 149).

Sports fans are a very good example of deindividuation because they are a big group and if they do ridiculous such as, paint their bodies or riot or even start fights, they are “lost in the crowd” and less likely tp stand out as an individual person. I think people tend to do things they would not normally do when they are part of a larger group. I think sports fan are a good example because an individual wouldn’t just paint their body unless they are part of a large group, they are more persuaded to act this way if they are part of a larger group than by themselves.


#2: Social Proof

Social proof is the tendency to view behaviors as more appropriate or correct when a lot of other people are engaging in such behaviors. According to Cialdini (1993), however, although using social proof can be a handy shortcut for deciding how to behave, it can also make us vulnerable to the persuasive attempts of others. This is because we are more likely to engage in a behavior when persuaders lead us to believe that a lot of other people are engaging in that behavior. The life stage hypothesis (Sears, 1981) predicts high susceptibility to change during childhood and low susceptibility through adulthood. (Gass & Seiter, 2018 p. 135).

The saying “Billions and Billions Served” makes people want to go to McDonalds because everyone else is doing it and it therefore must me good. When a child grows up eating McDonald’s, they are more likely to comply with it for the rest of their life rather than someone eating it for the first time when they are an adult.

#3: Social Proof Instagram Influencers

Social media is a haven for social proof as well. Some bloggers earn $100,000 or more per year to promote certain brands. Those bloggers may seem ordinary enough, but beware – their brand choices are not always random (Wolverson, 2013).

It’s been clear for a while now that influence is becoming a major contributor to driving business. This advertisement by Kylie Jenner on instagram with Fit Tea is persuading others to buy this tea because she uses it. The 775K likes the post has can be identified as social proof. Once enough people are doing, believing or buying a certain thing, the process reaches a tipping point when it becomes natural to follow the crowd and almost unthinkable to do something else. What people buy is hugely influenced by what other people around them are buying.

On the other hand, there are threatening comments on this Instagram post which may counter-act the persuasive power of social proof.


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