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Social Proof

Definition 1

Influence of others to conform behaviorally.

Source: Behavioral Science Lab, 2017

Definition 2

The influence exerted by others on our behavior can be expressed as being either normative or informational. Normative influence implies conformity in order to be accepted or liked (Aronson et al., 2005), while informational influence occurs in ambiguous situations where we are uncertain about how to behave and look to others for information or cues. Social proof is an informational influence (or descriptive norm) and can lead to herd behavior. It is also sometimes referred to as a heuristic. Research suggests that receiving information about how others behave (social proof) leads to greater compliance among people from collectivist cultures, whereas information on the individual’s past behavior (consistency/commitment) is associated with greater compliance for people from individualist cultures (Cialdini et al., 1999).

Source: Behavioral Economics

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