Mannerisms are subsequently in line with the groups

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Unformatted text preview: oung girl may not want to shop at a certain retailer because her friends told her that it is far too expensive, is an example. The last form of influence is that of identification (or value-expressive). This comes into play when an individual, in an attempt to satisfy psychological association needs, has internalised the group’s values and norms, leading the individual to accept these characteristics as their own. Mannerisms are subsequently in line with the group’s values, despite the fact that there might not even be motivation in actually becoming a member [Hawkins et al., 2001:233]. To illustrate this concept, consider a group of children having their lunch together. The newcomer might notice that everyone has a 58 lunch tin. He might then discard using brown-paper bags and use a lunch tin instead, seeing that everyone else does. Reference groups are able to apply varying amounts of influence to certain situations that consumers find themselves in. The following issues are generally held true, particularly with younger consumers. Firstly, the more relevant a particular activity is to the group’s functioning, the stronger the pressure to conform to the group norms concerning that activity. For example, children dress differently when they play outside or go to a fancy restaurant together. Secondly, an individual with low self-confidence is more susceptible to being influenced. A young girl that lacks self-esteem and confidence could be a prime target of peer influencing for instance. Thirdly, a group’s influence is the strongest when the use of the product or brand is visible to the group or it is deemed to be a luxury. For example, ‘Toblerone’ chocolate may be seen as “special” chocolate. Finally, the more commitment an individual feels to a group, the more the individual will conform to the group norms [Hawkins et al., 2001:233 and Rummel et al., 2000:38]. An illustration is that of a desperate person who dresses, talks and acts differently (despite personal feelings) in order to be accepted by a particular peer group. Since children are still on a learning curve, they are constantly susceptible to the influence of certain individuals known as opinion leaders. Opinion leadership occurs when individuals seek information from each other or as a by-product of normal group interaction. Young consumers often ask for assistance from reference groups or family members. The likelihood of this taking place increases when the consumer has a high need for social approval and feels unable to make decisions regardless of whether they possess the necessary information or not [Kotler, 2000:165 and Burgess, 1998:19]. Robinson and Champion [1999:535] found that children tend to believe utterances from speakers who were better informed than them and disbelieved those who were less informed – all with no age-related differences. A lot of studies of child development still centre upon individual differences in social status, tacitly overlooking relational con...
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This test prep was uploaded on 04/04/2014 for the course SOCIAL SCI 23 taught by Professor Salman during the Winter '10 term at University of the Punjab.

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