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note: most of my edits are merged into the actual article Social_proof, below are things I'm still working out/notes on them.

Mechanisms of social proof[edit]

Multiple source effect[edit]

Uncertainty about the correct conclusion[edit]

intergroup attitudes are based on percieved consensus when... (groups are unfamiliar?)[1]

Similarity to the surrounding group[edit]


Some of the documented instances of social proof include the perception of pain when around those who are also experiencing that pain (craig & prkachin, 1978), and the tendency of passerbys to look at an empty patch of sky if they observe others doing so (milgram, bickman, berkowitz 1969).

Re: eyewitness eval It's not clear that this study is definitely about social proof unless subjects were tested without other present

Re: cultural effects create links to the Hoefsted article.

mention pluralistic ignorance? [2]


Other examples:

   * "Salting the tip jar"
   * "Rich get richer" effect in popularity of online sources: see Salganik, M. J. (2006). Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market. Science, 311(5762), 854-856.
   * Various commercial services that aggregate judgments of others to provide useful information, like Zagats, Consummer report car reliability ratings, or social recommender systems from MovieLens, Amazon or Netflix (e.g., Cosley, D., Lam, S. K., Albert, I., Konstan, J., & Riedl, J. (2003). Is seeing believing? How recommender systems influence users' opinions Proceedings of CHI 2003: Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 585-592). New York: ACM Press)

under social interactions? I'd include a brief description of bystander effects, with link to WP page.

Social proof naturally also applies to products and is used extensively in marketing and sales" could be a section with examples.

just world hypothesis This needs citations and explanation

in entertainment link to claque

cites for this section. :)

note: since a lot of this is wholesale paraphrasing of influence, I'm not sure how much we need/want. adding a research section above for citable stuff, not sure how this stuff might still fit in; it's a lot of text paraphrasing anecdotes from Influence

Social proof modifiers[edit]


I might see if I can find studies backing this stuff up and merge it into the research section

Possession of special knowledge[edit]

If one perceives that s/he is better advised about a situation than the surrounding group, then s/he is less likely to follow the group's behavior.

Identification with authority[edit]

If one perceives themselves as a relevant authority figure in the situation, they are less likely to follow the surrounding group's behavior. This is a combination of "Identification of the surrounding group with self" and "Possession of special knowledge". People in authority positions tend to place themselves in different categories than other people and usually they have special training or knowledge that allows them to conclude that they are better informed than the surrounding group.

"Smart money"[edit]

One might perceive particular groups of others, identified by their behavior or other characteristics, to be more reliable guides to the situation than the average person. One might think truck drivers to be more frequent, and therefore more experienced drivers than others, and therefore weigh more heavily the number of trucks than the number of cars parked when judging the quality of a restaurant. One might identify the movement of betting odds or securities prices at certain times as revealing the preferences of "smart money" -- those more likely to be in the know.


  1. ^ Sechrist, Gretchen B. (2007). "When are intergroup attitudes based on perceived consensus information?". Social Influence. 2 (3): 211–235. doi:10.1080/15534510701459068.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  2. ^ LATANE, B (1 April 1969). "A lady in distress: Inhibiting effects of friends and strangers on bystander intervention*1". Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 5 (2): 189–202. doi:10.1016/0022-1031(69)90046-8. 

Category:Social psychology