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Imitating and influencing others

This article discusses why we imitate and influence others.
Photo of a man and kid shaving in front of each other. Child seems to imitate his father.

Welcome back! This week is about exploring how relations and networks impact social processes. It provides a quick glance at Social Network Analysis.

Quite often the more people do something, the more prone we are to do it too. It’s neither good nor bad, this is just us, humans. There are many reasons for that. Sometimes we treat other people as a source of information on how to behave in a certain situation – just think about arriving in a foreign country where we don’t know the social rules that well – it’s easiest to just observe the others and follow them. At other times, even if we feel a bit weird while copying the others’ behaviour, we do it because we would feel uncomfortable sticking out.

The adjusting or matching one’s behaviour to the behaviour of a group is called conformity.

Watch this 3-minute video:

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Now think about the way people influence each other. Please share your ideas about how and why we imitate other people’s behaviour with the other learners.

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People, Networks and Neighbours: Understanding Social Dynamics

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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