Peer Power

Reader's Digest (India) - - Mednews -

Never dis­count the in­flu­en­tial ef­fect of com­par­ing peo­ple with their fel­lows, says Robert Cial­dini, an Ari­zona State Univer­sity psy­chol­o­gist turned con­sul­tant who wrote In­flu­ence: The Psy­chol­ogy of Per­sua­sion. He cites an en­ergy com­pany that placed monthly hang­ers on of­fice doors so that em­ploy­ees could com­pare how much elec­tric­ity each one used—and the process re­duced over­all us­age by 3.5 per­cent. “It’s not peer pres­sure as much as ‘so­cial ev­i­dence’,” says rhetoric ex­pert Hein­richs. Evo­lu­tion­ar­ily, it’s proved smart to do what those around us in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions have done.

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