Human beings are not perfect, and one of the many defects we have is that we confuse correlation and causation. I would like to talk about how it affects Social Influence and then about some of the consequences it can have in marketing.
Influence is when one person is affected by others in an emotional, rational or behavioral manner. Let’s take for example someone famous on TV, a Rockstar or a politician. We know that these people’s actions can have a big impact on the rest of the population. A president’s speech for instance can change the course of a whole country, go to war or achieve a peaceful resolution to a conflict.
But social influence isn’t caused only by big names. We’ve all got a friend who has persuaded us to go with him to a concert, to an opening, or to buy a product we did not even knew it existed. Social influence is also present in these cases where the average guy can influence someone else. If we add social networks to the equation the power of influence can be even higher than we sometimes think.
However, what if the impact of social influence was not that high, or at least not always that high? what if we are overestimating the real impact of social influence? Chances are we do.
One of the main reason is that social influence is really hard to measure and separate from all the other psychosocial possible explanations.… Read the rest of “Influence and marketing (1)”