These social influence examples at their root are how people might behave depending on the social environment in which they are situated. An individual’s attitude may change depending on the person’s inclination to adjust to a social group or stand out. A personal belief and thought process can change, which affects a person’s adopted behavioral patterns.

There are five social influence examples – informational, normative, conformity, compliance, and obedience. These social influence examples easily demonstrate how our surroundings drive humans and to be aware of them.


5 Social Influence Examples

1. Informational 

When you decide based on information that someone else provided, that is informational social influence. This social influence comes from your desire to be correct. You adjust your opinions to the way people think in the hopes of proper judgment.


2. Normative 

Normative social influence is a person’s desire to change because they want to be accepted or fit in. Peer pressure is one of the most common examples of this social influence. Individuals who are influenced by normative factors engage in vices. For example, smoking, drinking, or other misbehavior practices to gain the bullies’ approval.


3. Conformity

When individuals change their behavior or beliefs to be accepted, impress or gain a sense of acceptance, conformity occurs. Whether a person has the same opinions or not to a group, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that truly matters to them is to gain admiration from the people they hope to impress.


4. Compliance

If an individual changes the way they behave, that is compliance. However, compliance is not in congruence with obedience. Compliance is usually seen when a friend asks you for a favor, and you agree.


5. Obedience

Compared to compliance, where a person changes their behavior because of a peer or an equal. In contrast, the power dynamics in obedience are changed. In obedience, a person changes because of a person of authority.


The different social influences affect how we act, whether it is evident to us or not. A person’s standing in society can determine how much they will conform with an individual. A teacher will be respected and obeyed by his students. A student will comply with their classmates’ request for a piece of their snack. A General will act differently in front of his cadets than when he is with his commander-in-chief. A person’s behavior can also be influenced, especially by those who are part of a majority. The people within the group will be pressed to follow, while those not included in the group will change to become a part of the group.


In summary, there are existing belief systems that influence the way we think and behave in society. Even our faith greatly influences how we move both within the religious group we belong to and how we act outside the group.

There is so much more to learn about social influence and the role it plays in our society. Understanding social influence means that you capitalize on using social influence tactics when you put your marketing strategies together. Social media influence is evidence that social influence works.

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