The judges agreed in 88 percent of the cases, and differences were resolved by discussion. This results in conformity, in the form of individuals altering their utterances or demeanor to be more like what they perceive to be the norm. In contrast, informational social influence arises from a Beatty, Sharon E. and Scott M. Smith (1987), "External Search Effort: An Investigation Across Several Product Categories," Journal of Consumer Research, 14 (June), 83-95. The means, standard deviations and contrast results associated with this and the other hypothesis tests are reported in Table 2. upport for hypothesis 2 is marginally significant (F2,71 = 270, p < .10, h2 = .07). The latter would seem to be the situation Brown and Reingen’s respondents faced as they decided upon a piano teacher. demonstrate conformity, they seem different somehow. unclear) situation and socially compares their behavior with the group. These researchers did not concern themselves explicitly with the distinction between normative and informational social influence. Richard J. Lutz, Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 297-300. Fundamental to the distinct nature of the two influence types is the issue of whether the consumer’s overriding concern is with the achievement of desired product/service-relevant (informational) or relationship (normative) outcomes. The implication is that projecting the likelihood of social influence per se is inadequate for a marketer attempting to inject his or her product/service into this communication realm. Mascarenhas and Higby (1993) suggest that "susceptibility to interpersonal influences could be proportional to one’s involvement with the products/services that one plans to purchase" (p. 57). One item in the LOV scale, the perceived importance of "warm relationships with others," was characterized by the highest level of respondent-referent dissimilarity when social influence was informational (mean difference of 1.10), with the difference in the normative category only directionally lower (.83) and that in the combined category significantly lower (.50). What appears in large measure to discriminate between public and private goods is their level of conspicuousness, a factor which would appear to be more relevant to the motives identified earlier as being associated with normative than with informational influence. Some have explored referent or product effects on social influence without regard to influence type (informational or normative). The prior two decades have seen sporadic research efforts aimed at further clarifying the nature of social influence in a consumer decision context. Social networks are known to be populated primarily by individuals characterized by homophilous ties, and it is within those networks that social norms and their corresponding rewards or punishments are manifest. And when the experimenters asked the participants if they had noticed anything unusual about the behavior of the other person during the experiment, none of them indicated awareness of any face rubbing or foot shaking. Hypothesis 6 addressed the strength of the consumer-referent relationship from the perspective of frequency of contact (H56a) and incidence of prior advice solicitation (H6b). Although normative and value-expressive influence are conceptually different, they have been found to be quite similar and have proven difficult to distinguish empirically (Burnkrant and Cousineau 1975; Bearden, Netemeyer and Teel 1989). The request in question can be either explicit, as in the form of a direct verbal request, or implicit, as in the form of an advertisement that promotes the qualities of a product without explicitly asking one to purchase (Cialdini & Goldstein, 2004). This type of conformity usually involves internalization – where a person accepts t… But larger majorities will also produce more normative conformity because being different will be harder … Preferred body images also demonstrate the powerful role of conformity, both normative and informational. A good everyday example would be drivers complying with traffic rules set by public authorities. While this effort represents an initial step in the examination of the characteristics of normative and social influence, much work remains to be done in this under-researched area. Where there is plentiful food a preference for thinness prevails, in societies that struggle for survival plumpness may signify fertility and well-being. A survey approach was employedto investigate these issues. There are two types of conformity, normative conformity, and informational conformity. The normative-informational distinction may account for these contrasting findings. However, whether the active solicitation of such information takes place among those with whom a consumer has frequent or infrequent contact may depend upon whether the objectives of such solicitation are normative or informational. A homophilous tie is one in which the consumer and the referent possess shared characteristics with respect to values, lifestyles, demographics, etc. We place a special emphasis on scholarly work published between 1997 and 2002. In such cases, due to mutual fear for each other, an individual may naturally try to agree with the rest in order to avoid appearing as contradictory or controversial. Like the studies cited above, and more recently Mascarenhas and Higby (1993), the present research treats social influence dichotomously, comparing informational with a combined normative/value-expressive construct. H2: Purchase situations involving informational social influence will be characterized by higher levels of decision complexity than those involving normative influence. Informational influence refers to the provision of credible evidence of reality (Burnkrant and Cousineau 1975). Deutsch, M and H.B. Informational influence is conformity under acceptance of evidence about reality which has been provided by others (Myers, 2009). For more information contact us at info@libretexts.org or check out our status page at https://status.libretexts.org. Perhaps you have noticed in your own behavior a type of very subtle conformity—the tendency to imitate other people who are around you. The conspicuousness hypothesis (3) obtained support (F2,71 = 6.31, p < .01, h2 = .15). LITERATURE REVIEW "One of the most pervasive determinants of an individual’s behavior is the influence of those around him," observed Burnkrant and Cousineau (1975) in their pioneering work on social influence in consumer behavior (p. 206). To the extent that the evening MBA students participating in this study differed systematically in their choice of or opportunity for social contacts across a broader cross-section of society, results may be distorted. The examination of consumer-referent relationships extends and to some extent clarifies earlier research on strong and weak ties as they relate to social influence (Brown and Reingen 1987). Kahle, Lynn R., Sharon E. Beatty, and Pamela Homer (1986), "Alternative Measurement Approaches to Consumer Values: The List of Values (LOV) and Values and Life Styles (VALS)," Journal of Consumer Research, 13 (December), 405-409. Kenneth R. Lord, Mercer University As a starting point, it would be appropriate to replicate this study, using a larger and more representative sample. We may use drugs with our friends without really wanting to, and without believing it is really right, because our friends are all using drugs. In some situations normative influence may occur where individuals associate with complete strangers. 1. Indeed, a consumer’s need to access purchase-relevant expertise that s/he does not personally possess would potentially lead to the solicitation of information and advice from persons not only different from the consumer her/himself, but different from referents contacted for other purchases (e.g., legal and landscaping expertise may reside in substantially different individuals). 1, eds. The first hypothesis related to consumers’ involvement in the product or service involved in the decision. normative influence conformity= leads to public compliance, ex: line judgment study informational social influence conformity= leads to private attitude change, ex: autokinetic effect study Full reference section is below. The contribution of this research lies not in the demonstration that the variables measured and analyzed herein relate to social influence, but in isolating the type of social influence activity most likely associated with them. Effects similar to those predicted for involvement have been ascribed to product or decision complexity; e.g., the more evaluative criteria employed in alternative evaluation the more time spent in search (cf. The individual likes or admires the reference group and attempts to mimic it. Coded in this fashion, the data contained 12 instances of normative social influence, 42 of informational, and 20 characterized by both influence types. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members. This form of social influence is moderated by self-confidence and task difficulty. "It seems necessary," they suggest, "if we are to gain insight into the determinants of buyer product evaluation, to come to grips with the role or roles played by the evaluation of relevant others in affecting the individual’s product evaluation. and Mary A. Higby (1993), "Peer, Parent, and Media Influences in Teen Apparel Shopping," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 21 (Winter), 53-58. H3: Purchase situations involving normative social influence will be characterized by higher levels of product or service conspicuousness than those involving informational influence. The desire for social acceptance is very powerful in a wide range of situations and explains why people are typically quite uncomfortable if they think others currently reject them or are likely to do so in the future. A comparable pattern emerged, but at a higher level of significance, when prior advice solicitation served as the dependent variable (F = 4.06, p < .05, h2 = .10); again normative and combined (4.33 and 4.30, respectively) exceeded informational (3.29). Homans, George (1961), Social Behavior: Its Elemental Forms, New York: Harcourt. Myung-Soo Lee, City University of New York Groupthink is the modification of the opinions of members of a group to align with what they believe is the group consensus (Janis, 1972). Brown and Reingen (1987) found that "strong ties," defined in part as those characterized by high contact frequency, are more likely than weak ties to serve as a conduit for the transfer of purchase-relevant information. Alternatively, there is no reason to expect any consistent or systematic social/demographic similarity among consumers and those referents sought out because of their superior knowledge, experience or expertise. Conformity is the tendency for an individual to align their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with those of the people around them. Zaichkowsky, Judith Lynne (1985), "Measuring the Involvement Construct," Journal of Consumer Research, 12 (December), 341-352. Marketers adopting such common strategies as the targeting of opinion leaders and promotions to reference groups may enhance the efficiency of such efforts by designing the communication elements of such a strategy around the informational or normative (or combined) motivations that prevail in their target markets. With respect to the former perspective, the test of differences between category means (F2,71 = 2.89, p < .10, h2 = .08) showed lower respondent-referent contact frequency in informational (3.14) than in normative or combined situations (4.08 and 3.80, respectively). We easily and frequently mimic others without being aware that we are doing so. Normative Influence is conformity based on one's desire to fulfill others' expectations and gain acceptance (Myers, 2009). Tests of homophily and heterophily are constrained by the lack of objective observation or reporting of referent characteristics. If the objective is to obtain the information most pertinent to the functional or performance aspects of a purchase decision, there is no reason to expect a systematic bias towards frequently contacted or strong-tie referents. Beatty and Smith 1987; Celsi and Olson 1988). Although in some cases conformity may be purely informational or purely normative, in most cases the goals of being accurate and being accepted go hand-in-hand, and therefore informational and normative conformity often occur at the same time. This unconscious conformity may help explain why we hit it off immediately with some people and never get it together with others (Chartrand & Dalton, 2009; Tickle-Degnen & Rosenthal, 1990, 1992). Another phenomenon of group conformity is groupthink. Missed the LibreFest? Explain the person, procedures, and competing interpretations behind the Milgram experiments on authority. On the other hand, informational conformity occurs because of the desire to be correct. (While the impracticality of a lonitudinal design precluded measurement of the constructs before the social-influence incidents they affected, these variables are assumed to be sufficiently stable to allow an inference that hypothesis-consistent results indicate their existence antecedent to that influence.). Assael 1987). The decision uncertainty occasioned by complexity would potentially activate a motivation to seek input from those perceived as possessing expertise relevant to the salient attributes of the desired product or service. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Whether it is due to normative or informational social influence, groups have power to influence individuals. In other cases we conform not because we want to have valid knowledge but rather to meet the goal of belonging to and being accepted by a group we care about (Deutsch & Gerard, 1955). Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Since, however, the major effect of such a bias would presumably be to mask actual differences between social influence categories because of constrained variance, it seems unlikely that such a bias could provide a plausible alternative explanation for the significant results obtained in support of the other hypotheses. Back to top; 21.2: Informational Conformity- Conforming To Be Accurate; 21.4: Majority Influence- … As adjectives the difference between normative and informative is that normative is of or pertaining to a norm or standard while informative is providing information; especially , providing useful or interesting information. The changes were in conformance with the law.. Thus the objectives for seeking information from social referents (to enhance one’s decision-making ability through the acquisition of product-relevant information from a more knowledgeable source or to attain or reinforce normative rewards or avoid punishments) will be partially a function of the levels of involvement, complexity and conspicuousness. This is most widely known as peer pressure. Mary C. Gilly and Joan Meyers-Levy, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 280-285. If the drivers do not comply with these regulations, there would be compl… The observation that in many instances consumers jointly pursue both normative and informational objectives in exposing themselves to such sources is also a message that should not be lost on the marketer. The two worked together to discuss photographs taken from current magazines. When soldiers obey their commanding officers, they probably do it both because others are doing it (normative conformity) and because they think it is the right thing to do (informational conformity). Research is thus needed to establish the distinctive antecedents of the two types of social influence and differences between them with respect to the nature of the relationship between influence wielders and recipients. Fisher, Robert J. and Linda L. Price (1992), "An Investigation into the Social Context of Early Adoption Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, 19 (December), 477-486. In addition to the role of similarity between consumer and referent, the frequency of contact has been shown to relate to social influence. With respect to the former perspective, the test of differences between category means (F 2,71 = 2.89, p < .10, h 2 = .08) showed lower respondent-referent contact frequency in informational (3.14) than in normative or combined situations (4.08 and 3.80, respectively). Conformity - Conformity - Normative influence: In addition to wanting to hold correct beliefs about the world, people are motivated to be accepted by other group members. (1960), "Consumer Behavior as Risk Taking," in Dynamic Marketing for a Changing World, ed. On the other hand, normative social influence occurs when people conform in order to be accepted and liked by the group; normative influence is moderated by group … Celsi, Richard L. and Jerry C. Olson (1988), "The Role of Involvement in Attention and Comprehension Processes," Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (September), 210-224. Levels of involvement and complexity were shown to be greater in informational influence situations than in normative. Whereas informational influences serve to acquire adequate representations of reality, normative influences aim at preserving intact social relations. Tanya Chartrand and John Bargh (1999) investigated whether the tendency to imitate others would occur even for strangers, and even in very short periods of time. As nouns the difference between conformance and conformity is that conformance is the act of conforming; conformity while conformity is state of things being similar, or identical. The motivation behind normative conformity is the desire to be liked and accepted in society. Recognizing the prevalence of normative social influence in many decision situations, Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) incorporated "subjective norm" into their "Theory of Reasoned Action," developing and validating a measurement approach for this normative construct as an integral component of their behavioral intention model. Peer pressure is a classic example of normative conformity. WHAT TYPES OF … When we start smoking cigarettes or buy shoes we cannot really afford in order to impress others, we do these things not so much because we think they are the right things to do but rather because we want to be liked. - Sherif = Private Acceptance = Informational Social Influence - People actually come to believe that the light is moving the distance that they say. Levels of involvement and complexity were shown to be greater in informational influence situations than in normative. It has been argued that the distinction between informational and normative conformity is more apparent than real and that it may not be possible to fully differentiate them (Turner, 1991). Analyses of reported differences between the two parties with respect to the demographic and psychographic variables identified in the earlier description of the measurement instrument yielded only one significant difference in means or proportions between social influence categories (F2,71 = 3.06, p < .05, h2 = .08). The request may be explicit, as in the direct Involvement (or degree of personal relevance) has been shown to be positively related to external search and cognitive processing of decision-relevant stimuli, apparently motivated by an attempt to increase the effectiveness of alternative evaluation (cf. © 2021 Association for Consumer Research, The Journal of the Association for Consumer Research (JACR). In most purchase categories, the extent to which the purchase and/or usage of a product or service is seen by others does not relate directly to the functional benefits it delivers to the use, but may elicit judgments on the part of social observers. 2. A popular conceptualization of reference group influence views that form of social influence as being most pervasive for "public" as opposed to "private" goods (Bearden and Etzel 1982), but does not differentiate between informational and normative influence. Since the variable for which significant respondent-referent differences emerged dealt with subjective value perceptions, a determination of whether differences in heterophily/homophily are real or only perceived must await further research. More recently, Mascarenhas and Higby (1993) found that informational influence exceeded normative in the area of teen apparel shopping, although teen boys were more susceptible to normative influence than were girls; further, family size was positively related to the level of social influence, while the amount of gift money received and age were negatively related. Fishbein, Martin and Icek Ajzen (1975), Belief, Attitude, Intention and Behavior: An Introduction to Theory and Research, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. There is a need to test the unsupported homophily and ATSCI predictions under more powerful conditions before rejecting them out of hand, and to identify any other individual-difference characteristics that may play a role in normative and informational social influence. Conspicuousness, contact and advice solicitation frequency, and consumer-referent homophily with respect to the value attached to warm relationships were greater when normative influence was involved. Or when a person is in an ambiguous (i.e. This is perhaps because they are likely to coexist in the same sources; e.g., family members and friends both establish a value system (value expressive) and mediate rewards/punishments for compliance/noncompliance with its norms and values (normative). (Watch in HD) Created by Michael MacKenzie. This implies that normative rewards typically flow through "strong tie" relationships, while informational benefits may accrue from any known party possessing the required knowledge and expertise, regardless of tie strength. Conformance is a related term of conformity. Bearden and Rose (1990) provided evidence that "attention to social comparison information" (TSCI) C a measure of a general tendency to conform (Lennox and Wolfe 1984) C moderates the influence of normative consequences on behavioral intention. On the other hand, informational conformity occurs because of the desire to be correct. 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