15 years back I went to Paris on some work assignment. As part of the weekend visiting ritual we went to Paris Louvre Museum to see some things. Before one room, lot of people (from many countries) were rushing and pushing to take pictures before Mona Lisa painting.
I never heard about Mona Lisa painting before that. From little distance, I was looking at the picture and I could not understand what is there in the picture. It was not like a Ravi Varma’s painting. I asked my friend what is special about this? He said “this is very famous ..Mona Lisa..take the pictures fast…”. I asked one more question and then I realized he also does not know much about it. I think many visitors does not know either. But everyone is very excited because it is “famous”…
This is called “Social Proof” – “Also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation”.
Many decisions in our life are influenced by Social Proof. Starting from selecting education degree, career, marriages, how many kids to have, where to invest, what coffee brand to buy to why you hate certain country or like certain leader, etc. It really does not matter which coffee brand you buy. But it really matters in all important life decisions and day to day living.
Biggest beneficiaries of social proof are Marketers. They make you believe that everyone is buying certain product so you should also buy. Otherwise you feel that you are missing some thing.
Start think about all the decisions that are having influence of social proof. Start cutting them down so that you can take better decisions.