Doing It For The Right Reason!

Often we find ourselves in an act that we don’t know why we are doing. One reason might be because other people are doing it, for example, when in a fancy restaurant you might tag and share it on facebook because you have found your friends doing it, you buy a stock because your boss has bought it as well, you plan for a vacation in Paris because your neighbour Mr. Sharma & family went for theirs last summer etc etc.

Psychologies and social scientists call this phenomenon an influence of ‘social proof’, ‘group-think’, ‘herd-mentality’, or ‘conformity bias’ in that we tend to do things that other people (especially our peers) are doing often without even knowing ‘why’ we are doing it. This essentially stems out of our deep desire to belong, conform or fit into a larger group.

Marketers use this human bias effectively towards gaining momentum in an ad campaign, building a community, increasing brand visibility, selling junk food, junk bond, a cigarette pack and what not.

Trying to fit into a larger group (either mainstream or counter-stream) neither helps the group nor the individual. If you want to reach your truest and fullest potential you better be yourself, get comfortable with conflict and do things with a sense of purpose that defines who you are.

avijit@nonlinear.in

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