For the most part, we’re all conformists. We’ll do what everyone else is doing, just follow the crowd, all while not willing to admit it. It’s estimated that just 1 out of 10 people, will engage in a behavior that’s considered to be contrary to the norm, what’s thought to be socially unacceptable.
What we see is the law of the norm operating in groups, this in organizations, during meetings, and in day-to-day public life. In each of these situations, there seems to be a certain standard. Churches for instance, there’s a certain moral code, which determines the standard behavior that’s acceptable by the group.
In organizations, there’s all the bylaws, the years of tradition that’s been established as standard operating procedure, the company’s “Mission Statement.” And because what we want is to fit into these groups, or maintain our memberships status, what we do is conform.
Monkey See Monkey Do
What we’ll do is find out what others are doing, this to validate our own actions. This is the method on how we decide what constitutes as “correct” acceptable behavior. We see a certain pattern as being more correct, this when we see others doing it.
The more that the public will do something, the more correct that it appears or becomes. For politicians, the media, advertising and savvy marketers, this has become standard practice.
What marketers will do is artificially inflate sales, this for their programs or ebooks on the Internet, this by downloading these files over and over again themselves, this so the “sales” become inflated.
Then what’s constantly found without fail, is that these “boosted” downloaded files, are then purchased more frequently.
What the high artificial counter does is indicates popularity. People will always become more interested in purchasing these programs which are more popular, or rank high in reviews by their peers.
Whatever action it may be, such as what to do with that empty soda can, how fast you drive in traffic, or how to properly eat soup in a trendy restaurant, what the validation of what others are doing, give us our answers, which guides our actions.
Just Follow The Crowd
What we feel is validation, this once we see others do what we ourselves want to do. We learn early in life, that we’re more likely to make fewer mistakes or be liked more, this when we follow the crowd or social norm.
What’s known is that there’s two types of norms: explicit and implicit. What explicit norm refers to, are publicly spoken or written direction. For instance, employee manuals, road signs, or rules to a game or sport, are types of explicit norms.
Implicit norms aren’t usually stated as openly. You usually don’t need to be told, or prompted to say “hello” to someone, or to smile once you see a friend, as you do so instinctively.
Or, you know better than to putting your fist through a wall at work, this when you’re talking to your boss or a client, even though that individual may of asked you to do so.
Knowing What’s Acceptable
If we have no idea what the norm is, what we’ll then do is look around and find out. “The Law of Social Validation” is a way of saving time and energy, this to figure out what’s correct or not.
What we do is use the behavior of others to guide our own actions, this to validate what our actions should or shouldn’t be. We don’t always need to just look at the positive or the negative of every situation.
What this automatic response does is keeps us aligned. We’ll compare what we do or react, this to the standard of what everyone else is doing around us.
Once we find discrepancy, this between what we observe and what we happen to do, what we tend is to make changes in the direction of what the social norm is.
What social validation does is compels us to change our behavior, attitude, and our actions, this even when what we observe doesn’t match what our true feelings, style, or thoughts are.
What we go against is our better judgment, this because we want to be accepted, to be part of the crowd or in agreement with others. Once we’re part of the crowd, we then no longer feel individually responsible for our actions.
We allow ourselves to shout, cry, sing, or strike without the temperament that’s imposed by our personal accountability.
Just Wanting To Fit In
We seek out social norms to know what we should be feeling or doing. For the most part, this isn’t a conscious process. What we do is subconsciously accept that how we behave is what’s determined by our surroundings, along with the actions of others.
This includes raising our voice to speak up in meetings, to tip in a restaurant, or knowing how to behave in school. When we become part of the group and conform, our once divergent emotions and feelings converges.
Follow Social Cues
Once we find ourselves in unknown foreign situations, this where we feel awkward or unsure of how we should be acting, what we look for are social cues that will dictate our behavior.
This could be at a party, the first day of college, or even a family reunion of people you don’t know. When the social information that we’re seeking is ambiguous, we have no idea how to respond, and will thus continue to seek out social clues.
Imagine if you were sitting in seminar when somebody shouted, “Fire!” Do you think you’d make at run for it? If everyone else does, then you would too. If everyone remained seated, then you would as well.