Informational social influence
|Informational social influence|
Informational social influence is a type of social influence that occurs when people rely on the opinions or advice of others to make decisions and shape their beliefs. It is a form of social influence that is often seen in the workplace, as employees seek to learn from their colleagues and superiors. The influence of informational social influence may be used to create a more productive and positive work environment, as well as encourage employees to share their knowledge and insights. It is an important part of effective management, as it allows managers to tap into the collective intelligence of their team, leading to more informed decision making and better results.
- In the workplace, informational social influence often occurs when employees seek advice or guidance from their supervisors and colleagues. For example, a new employee may ask an experienced colleague for advice on how best to complete a task. The experienced colleague may share their insights, providing the new employee with valuable information that they can use to complete their task more efficiently.
- Informational social influence can also be seen in group decision-making. For example, when a group of people are tasked with making a decision, they may use informational social influence to gather information and opinions from each other, before coming to a conclusion. By collecting the opinions and expertise of the group, they can make sure that they make the most informed decision possible.
- Informational social influence can also be seen in the media. For example, when an individual is trying to decide which product or service to purchase, they may turn to online reviews or expert advice for guidance. By gathering information from multiple sources, they can make an informed decision about which product or service is the best fit for their needs.
Informational social influence can be used in a variety of contexts, such as in the workplace, education, and other social settings. It is an effective way of encouraging collaboration, sharing knowledge, and gaining insights from others. It can be used in the following ways:
- In the workplace, informational social influence can help create a culture of collaboration and learning, as employees can draw on the collective intelligence of their team.
- In educational contexts, informational social influence can help students learn from each other and build a stronger sense of community.
- In social settings, informational social influence can help individuals gain insights from those around them and foster more meaningful connections.
- Informational social influence can also be used to help organizations make better decisions, as the collective wisdom of a group can often lead to more informed decisions.
Informational social influence is the type of social influence that occurs when people rely on the advice or opinions of others to make decisions and shape their beliefs. There are a few main types of informational social influence:
- Expertise - When a person has a certain level of expertise or knowledge in a certain area, they are likely to be influential in the decisions other people make.
- Authority - People who have a certain level of authority, such as a manager, can also use informational social influence to influence the decisions of those around them.
- Status - People with a certain level of social status may be seen as more influential than others, and their advice may be taken more seriously.
- Norms - People may also be influenced by the norms of the group they are part of. For example, in some workplace environments, it may be expected that team members should take the advice of their manager before making a decision.
- Social Exchange - People can be influenced by the social exchange between them and another person. This could involve giving and receiving favors, or exchanging compliments or other positive reinforcement.
Informational social influence is an important part of effective management, as it allows managers to tap into the collective intelligence of their team. The steps of informational social influence include:
- Establishing trust between the leader and the team – this is important as it encourages employees to be open and honest with their opinions and ideas.
- Gathering information from the team – this involves asking questions and listening to their answers. It is important to solicit opinions from all members of the team.
- Evaluating the information – the leader should take the time to assess and consider the opinions and insights of the team.
- Making decisions based on the information – the leader should use the insights gathered from the team to make decisions that best serve the organization.
- Communicating the decisions – the leader should inform the team of their decisions and explain the reasons behind them.
- Encouraging feedback – the leader should be open to hearing feedback from the team in order to ensure that the decisions made are in the best interest of the organization.
Informational social influence can have many advantages, including:
- Improved communication and collaboration between colleagues, which can lead to better problem solving and better results.
- Increased knowledge sharing and the ability to learn from each other, leading to greater innovation.
- Increased motivation and morale, as employees feel that their opinions are respected and valued.
- Increased understanding of the organization’s goals, objectives, and strategies, leading to increased engagement and commitment.
- Greater understanding of the organization’s culture and values, leading to a better work environment.
Informational social influence can be a powerful tool, but it also has its limitations. The following are some of the key limitations of informational social influence:
- It can be difficult to distinguish between accurate and inaccurate information, as people may be influenced by false information without realising it.
- It can lead to groupthink, where people are so influenced by the opinions of others that they lack the ability to think independently.
- The influence of informational social influence can be difficult to measure, as it is often not visible.
- It can lead to herd behaviour, where people follow the opinion of the majority without considering alternatives.
- It can lead to a lack of creativity and innovation, as people are too focused on following the opinions of others.
- It can lead to conformity, where people are too eager to fit in with the group and not challenge existing ideas.
- Cohen, J. B., & Golden, E. (1972). Informational social influence and product evaluation. Journal of applied Psychology, 56(1), 54.
- Lord, K. R., Lee, M. S., & Choong, P. (2001). Differences in normative and informational social influence. ACR North American Advances.
- Deutsch, M., & Gerard, H. B. (1955). A study of normative and informational social influences upon individual judgment. The journal of abnormal and social psychology, 51(3), 629.