--Original published at JD's Blog
Peer pressure has been a serious problem for a very long time. It has led countless people to their downfall and sometimes even their death. Peer pressure is the direct influence of a person’s friend group on their behavior and actions. Sometimes they are pressured into changing their beliefs or values. In some cases, it goes beyond that and results in an action taking place that the person who completes it did not originally intend on doing or approve of. When people hang out in groups, if one person’s ideals do not match up with the rest of the group there is a high chance of either informational or normative influence. Informational influence is when one believes they are wrong or made a mistake because everyone else says something different. Normative influence is even worse because the person knows that they are right, yet they go with everyone else’s idea anyway. With the help of peer pressure and normative influence usually leads to compliance. Compliance is when one actually does what the group wants even though they know it is wrong. Sometimes peer pressure and informational influence can even lead to conformity where the person actually changes their mindset to match that to a group.
The first website I found was designed for kids. The website suggested that when kids are confronted with peer pressure they should stand up straight, make direct eye contact with the people who are pressuring them. They should also state how they feel without making any excuses and be sure to stick up for themselves. These techniques could work because when one sticks up for themselves or states their own ideals then they are less likely to undergo informative influence. However when faced with an entire group and a child they might fall into normative influence and eventually compliance.
The website I found for parents suggested that they teach their children how to take a breath to relax, think it through and find the words. If this doesn’t work then the site suggested that they ask what could be done instead and if all else fails then walk away. I think this is very effective because walking away is the best thing to do. When one walks away they are able to understand that the groups intentions are not what is best for them and are able to take matters into their own hands. This will help prevents any type of influence from peers.
The third website concentrated on college athletes. It focused more on preventative measures to undergo before any type of situation takes place. It suggested that they work hard and earn the respect of their teammates. It suggested that they follow the guidelines set by their family and personal values. I like that the site suggested to find good and reliable friends in your major that will guide you in the right direction and share your ideals. It also said that joining clubs that interest you and have similar values such as a religion club or something similar. This site was the best one in found. By setting oneself up with friends who respect one’s decisions, ideals and values then there is much less of a chance of someone challenging those ideals or trying to change them.