According to Aronson et al. (2019), social psychology has defined the effects of peer influence on behavior as associated with injunctive standards and the concept of determinism. Talbott et al. (2014) used a sample of 534 first-year students to show the contribution of moral norms on alcohol usage and injunctive behaviors was determined by peer consent of using alcohol which they determined by considering the number of bottles consumed in 30days in parties (Talbott et al., 2014). The result showed that moral standards made the first-year students liable to drinking alcohol. Wardell and Read (2013) also associated alcohol consumption with reciprocal determinism, where descriptive norms and positive alcohol expectancies (PAEs) made students influence each other. In their investigation, alcohol consumption showed a strong association with norms than PAEs. This discussion evaluates persuasive strategies associated with peer influence behavior.
I would use an inoculation message to convince someone to do what is in their best interest to resist peer influence. I would use forewarning together with counterarguments. For example, to discourage alcohol use, I would first issue an alert that peer influence can change the person’s belief on alcoholism and then warn about the justification from the peer like being told alcohol is not dangerous to our health. Then I would issue a counterargument by saying alcohol has many harmful effects like addiction and liver cirrhosis. Inoculation theory is a behavioral psychology theory that outlines how to prevent one’s beliefs from negative influence from peers, just like how human bodies are prevented against illnesses (Compton et al., 2016).
In summary, the discussion has evaluated persuasive strategies associated with peer pressure behavior. Injunctive norms and behavior determinisms are proven to make people liable to alcohol consumption in college students. Inoculation messages can convince people to do what is in their best interest and not follow group influence by issuing warnings and counterarguments to discourage certain behaviors such as alcohol intake.
Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., Akert, R. M., & Sommers, S. R. (Eds.). (2019). Social psychology (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Compton, J., Jackson, B., & Dimmock, J. A. (2016). Persuading Others to Avoid Persuasion: Inoculation Theory and Resistant Health Attitude. Frontiersin.org https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00122/full
Talbott, L. L., Wilkinson, L. L., Moore, C. G., & Usdan, S. L. (2014). The role of injunctive norms and alcohol use during the first semester of college. The Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 58(1), 60–81.
Wardell, J. D., & Read, J. P. (2013). Alcohol expectancies, perceived norms, and drinking behavior among college students: Examining the reciprocal determinism hypothesis. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(1), 191–196
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