Peer pressure

From Academic Kids

Peer pressure comprises a set of group dynamics where by a group of people in which one feels comfortable may override the sexual personal habits, individual moral inhibitions or idiosyncratic desires to impose a group norm of attitudes and/or behaviors.

Some examples

Popular usage associates the term peer pressure particularly with young people or teenagers. The concept can provide an easy, superficial explanation of what occurs when people "go off the rails" or "get in with a bad crowd".

Peer pressure, as a conformity of attitude is also found in professional circles. Here there is some rationality, as careers are at stake, even if it is a perverted one. For example behavioral finance research has shown that financial analysts are prone to give similar recommendations, biased towards buying more than selling, as they feel too risky to criticize others, or to displease the listed corporations. As the saying goes, "better be wrong with the others than to be right alone".

Generalization to other social fields

But the term can explain much more in the realms of the drive for social acceptance, the spread of fashion and the operations of crowd behavior.

See also: conformity; groupthink; hive mind; Dare to Be Different.


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