Influence and Individual Behavior - Explained
How Influence Affects Behavior
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What Is Influence?
Influence can be defined as the ability to have an effect on someone or something or to cause a reaction in someone. Influence generally results from power, physical closeness, emotional connection, or position of import to the affected person or entity.
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What are Individual Responses to Influence?
Responses to influence attempts include:
- Resistance - This is an unwillingness to comply with the expected or logical effects of the influence.
- Compliance - This means to react or behave in concert with the expected or logical effect of the influence, but with reluctance or without the desire to do so.
- Commitment - This is the result of actively seeking or desiring the expected or logical effects of the influence.
What are Notable Methods of Influence?
- Logic - Cognition or Logic can be used as a rational form of influence and persuasion. It means using facts, data, and logical arguments in presenting a position or point of view.
- Affect - An affective approach means focusing on our beliefs, emotions, and values.
- Legitimate Power - Exerting power as part of a persons position or authority.
- Coercion - This entails exerting influence through the threat of a negative consequence.
- Exchange - This means trading value as a means of influencing behavior.
- Coalition - This means working as a group to exert influence.
- Personal Appeal - This means influencing others based on leveraging a personal relationship.
- Consultation - This is when you seek to influence someone by going through a third party for assistance in exerting influence.
- Ingratiation - This is flattery or influence based upon a persons ego.
What is the Direction of Influence?
Influence can be exerted in any number of directions, as follows:
- Upward Influence - This is the ability to influence ones superiors, such as a boss in an organization.
- Downward Influence - This is the ability to influence ones subordinates, such as the workers under a manager.
- Peer Influence - This is the ability to influence ones colleagues, friends, or similarly situated individuals.