Published Online: 15 DEC 2010
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing
How to Cite
Griskevicius, V. and Cialdini, R. B. 2010. Social Influence. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing.
- Published Online: 15 DEC 2010
Social influence involves the changing of a person's attitude or behavior through the doings of another person. Here we focus on the realm of consumer behavior and on the factors that cause one individual to comply with another's request. The starting point in ascertaining what are the most successful influence strategies was an investigation of the techniques that are most successful in professions dependent on their ability to induce compliance (e.g., salespeople, fund-raisers, advertisers, political lobbyists, cult recruiters, negotiators, and con artists). What emerged from this period of systematic observation was a list of six principles on which compliance professionals base most of their successful influence attempts: (i) reciprocity repaying a gift, favor, or service; (ii) consistency acting consistently with prior commitments; (iii) social validation following the lead of similar others; (iv) liking accommodating the requests of those we know and like, (v) authority conforming to the directives of legitimate authorities, and (vi) scarcity seizing opportunities that are scarce or dwindling in availability. We provide a summary of the principles and the scientific evidence regarding how each principle functions to influence consumer behavior.
Keywords: compliance; personal selling; direct marketing; sales promotion; persuasion