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Shrug Off Social Pressure


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Social proof is a very powerful force.

But since the term, social proof, is so common, we tend to overlook it.

People say things like using social proof to become more attractive.

Or adding some social proof on a website to increase sales.

The way the term is used conversationally, it sounds like a spice you'd put on food.

"I'm going to add some social signals to my site to increase conversions."

"I'm going to add some crushed red peppers to my pizza to increase flavor."

As if social proof, or social signals (things that indicate social proof) are some physical things kept in a separate jar.

We can use them if we want to, but we don't have to.

But social proof is something that is always present.

And it is something that is always affecting us.

Humans are highly social creatures.

We simply cannot function without being around, or at the very least, referencing our social peers.

Even getting dressed in the morning.

You either wear clothes to attract attention, or to avoid attention.

The kajillion's that are spent on fashion and accessories, for men and women, are specifically BECAUSE of the power of social proof.

Humans and social proof are like fish and water.

It's not something we "can" use "some times."

It's something that affects us every second of our lives.

The Asch experiment showed how powerful it is.

Even when choosing something as simple as a line length, we choose the WRONG answer if everybody else around us is choosing the WRONG answer.

This has been proven time and time again.

But because it's always happening unconscious, we pretend it isn't there.

We hate public speaking BECAUSE of the negative social pressure we'll feel.

Most of us would prefer to blend in WITH the group, rather than stand out in front of it.

One of the most compelling social forces is based on LOSING our social reference group.

The famous "FOMO" or "fear of missing out" is when we think our social group is leaving us behind.

Walk through any crowded mall and see how easily you can find mothers trying to leverage FOMO to get their kids to behave.

"If you don't hurry up I'm going to leave you here!"

But there's a positive side to this.

If you KNEW you were going into the Asch experiment, you could purposely mess with the researchers.

Meaning if you KNEW the other "subjects" were purposely choosing the wrong line length, you could choose the correct one.

Or you choose the wrong one that was different than the others were purposely choosing.

This would make the researchers go nuts!

All that requires is you PRE-FRAME any situation by understanding the social proof that is always operating.

Once you KNOW what the game is, you can easily jack it in your favor.

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