The principle of social proof says: ''//The greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more the idea will be correct.//'' . Social proof works best when the circumstances are unclear and uncertain.

!The key to using the Rule of Social proof
This principle of Social Proof can be used to ''//stimulate a person's compliance with a request by informing him or her that many other individuals are or have observed this behavior//'' (More strongly in case of role models). This tool of influence provides a shortcut for determining how to behave. But at the same time it can make those involved with using this social shortcut vulnerable to the manipulations of others who seek to exploit such influence through such things as seminars, group introduction dinners, retreats etc. Group members may then provide the models for the behavior that each group plans to produce in its potential new members.

Social proof is most influential under two conditions:
# Uncertainty when people are unsure and the situation is ambiguous they are more likely to observe the behavior of others and to accept that behavior as correct
# Similarity people are more inclined to follow the lead of others who are similar.
Some recommendations on how to reduce susceptibility to contrived social proofs would include a greater sensitivity to clearly counterfeit evidence. That is what others are doing and their behavior should not form a sole basis for decision-making. 

* Chose between the following leaflets for a hotel to motivate their customers to reuse their towels more often?
** Leaflet 1: appeal to the environmental friendliness of the customer to reuse the towel
** Leaflet 2: with the addition ''most guests in this hotel reuse their towel //at least once//'' (+26% with respect to leaflet 1)
** Leaflet 3: with addition "guests in this room..." (+33% with respect to leaflet 1)
*  In an experiment, a New York college student who appeared to be having an epileptic seizure received help 85 percent of the time when there was a single bystander present but only 31 percent of the time with five bystanders present.

!Practical tips
* Testimonials in our marketing materials, brochures and websites. If you don’t put any in there, people may look at you in the same way as the empty restaurants and pass on by! And now with web2.0 streaming video and podcasting, there is no excuse for not having compelling multimedia testimonials as well as written quotes.
* Case Studies – again as above these are a great way of demonstrating that your service was good enough for others.
* Client lists. Don’t hide your light under a bushel, publish a list of your top clients and see how this helps build your credibility and making attracting you clients much easier.
* The principle of [[Pluralistic Ignorance]]@psychology is best prevented by addressing individuals and ask them to take specific responsibilities. So in stead of calling out for "help" in general, it is better to be more specific: "You, sir with the blue jacket, i need help, will you please call an ambulance?"
* No leader can hope to persuade, regularly and single-handedly, all the members of the group. A forceful leader can reasonably expect, however, to persuade some sizable proportion of group members. Then the raw information that a substantial number of group members has been convinced can, by itself, convince the rest. Thus ''//the most influential leaders are those who know how to arrange group conditions//'' to allow the principle of social proof to work maximally in their favor.
<<tiddler [[Demonstration of Social Proof]]>>
Sat, 18 Jun 2011 10:04:57 GMT
Sat, 18 Jun 2011 10:04:57 GMT
Six principles of influence