The Impacts of Social Influence on Our Behavior!

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Human beings are well known to be the social creatures, and this statement is very true since we live with people surrounded to each other, forming a community. Social life and living together with others bring numerous influences that are mostly positive to our life, and this is why we highly value the interactions with others and living within the community.
However, did you know that the presence of people has effects on how well you perform? According to the text book, the presence of people can both have positive and negative impacts on the performance, depending on the situations. For example, suppose you are doing a familiar or simple task, and there are people watching you doing the task. Such presence of others will enhance your performance, a phenomenon called social facilitation. In contrast, the impacts of others do not always bring positive outcomes. For example, when you are doing something unfamiliar or inexperienced in front of lots of people, you will perform worse than the usual, a phenomenon called social disruption.
These impacts of others on our behaviors might gain sympathy from many people because this is something that many people have already experienced during their life time. These phenomena seem reasonable and make sense to me as well since I have experienced both positive and negative situations in my life time. When I was an elementary school student, I began to learn to play a violin. It was my first time to learn how to play the violin that I was still an amateur even after 6 months of playing it. However, one day, my violin teacher held the recital and asked me to participate in. For the upcoming recital, I practiced a lot not to make any mistake in front of many people. , Nevertheless, despite of sufficient practice time, I felt very nervous when I was performing in front of many audiences, making lots of mistakes that I did not even make during the rehearsals. I was very disappointed and upset at myself for making unusual mistakes and performing worse. Now I know that the inexperienced task of playing violin in front of big crowd led to social disruption.
I also have experienced the social facilitation as well. When I was in high school, I was the soccer player of my school soccer team. Many times I found myself playing much better in soccer games than practices. I guess this is related to social facilitation since soccer is something very familiar to me that the presence of other people might have allowed me to perform better than usual.
It is fascinating to see how the effects of social influence can be either positive or negative. From this learning, now we know that when we perform an unfamiliar task with large crowd watching and do poor job on it, it is not because you are not good at the task, but rather it is due to the social influence which imposes heavy pressure that makes you feel nervous and uncomfortable, preventing from performing well. Therefore, do not give up, but practice it more and make it familiar to you. Then, you will perform much better next time!

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This page contains a single entry by leex6274 published on April 26, 2012 8:59 PM.

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