Friday, 10 March 2017


My favourite Norm is my brother in law because he is literally the funniest person I know.

However this blog post is about Social Norms.

Social Psychologist Robert Cialdini concluded that the six basic principles for gaining compliance are known as:
  1. Friendship/liking - We are more willing to comply with requests from people who we like and know.
  2. Commitment/consistency - Once we have committed ourselves to a stance or action; we are more willing to comply with requests for behaviors that are consistent with this position or action.
  3. Scarcity -We are more likely to comply with requests that focus on scarcity because we feel obliged to obtain rather than not have. For example, there is a limited time offer in purchasing a certain item and as a result, people often buy that particular item. This seems to be a common theme in clever marketing.
  4. Reciprocity - People feel compelled to rise to a person’s defence, or to pay them back because they have done the same for them.
  5. Social validation - People want to feel understood and legitimised for their action or way of thinking, so they turn to others to gain social validation and approval.
  6. Authority - people are more willing to comply with requests from someone who holds legitimate authority.

These six principles prompt our understanding of why and how people gain compliance.(original article)

These above principles are exploited every day by marketing executives, campaigners and politicians. There is a lot of controversy at the moment about social media profiling. People's Twitter and Facebook posts and responses are being "farmed" and then analysed automatically to indicate what their personality traits are and then these people are being manipulated to ensure they vote a particular way.

"Psychologist Michal Kosinski developed a method to analyze people in minute detail based on their Facebook activity. In the 1980s, two teams of psychologists developed a model that sought to assess human beings based on five personality traits, known as the "Big Five." These are:
  • Openness (how open you are to new experiences?), 
  • Conscientiousness (how much of a perfectionist are you?), 
  • Extroversion (how sociable are you?), 
  • Agreeableness (how considerate and cooperative you are?) and 
  • Neuroticism (are you easily upset?). 
Based on these dimensions—they are also known as OCEAN, an acronym for openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism—we can make a relatively accurate assessment of the kind of person in front of us.Did a similar tool help propel Donald Trump to victory? Two reporters from Zurich-based Das Magazin went data-gathering" (link)

There is more information here.

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