Social Judgement Theory
Social influence occurs when one’s emotions, behavior or opinions are affected by others. Social influence is of various dimensions and includes socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, sales and marketing, persuasion and conformity. To help better understanding of social influence process, social judgment theory is reflected. The theory gives suggestions on understanding individual’s attitudes and how they feel about an idea or situation and gives circumstances under which an individual can be easily persuaded. Social judgment is a person’s perception concerning an idea or a situation with a comparison to his or her feelings. In order to understand people’s attitude, you should be in a position to know their preferences and what they are likely to accept or reject.
Social judgment theory explains that individual’s decision depends on three factors: anchor, alternatives, and ego-involvement (Gass & Seiter, 2015). Each individual has the most preferred position to base his or her decisions and judgment this is what is referred to as an anchor. An anchor point is a point whereby an individual is satisfied. Ego- involvement is a situation whereby the situation or idea has personal significance to the person or has an impact on one’s self-esteem or self-concept. Anchor point in the center of the latitude of acceptance (Sherif & Rodgers, 1973). Latitude of rejection shows a position whereby an individual rejects an idea, an individual does not give any decision about a situation but he or she just rejects the decision.
Latitude of non-commitment is a situation whereby an individual judgment is neutral. He or she neither accepts nor rejects a situation. Understanding individual’s judgment on the various alternative positions available enables one to understand the reactions on the persuasive messages regarding an idea or situation (Gass & Seiter, 2015). The basic assumptions of the theory are that peoples attitude change is brought about by judgment process and the events which can persuade a person. The first assumption is that attitudes are latitudes and they are the latitude of acceptance, latitude of rejection and latitude of non-commitment. The second assumption ego- involvement gives an individual the best anchor position for a person’s attitude towards a situation or idea. Since in ego- involvement the issue is of personal significance to a person thus the individual will be highly committed to his or her position.
Ego -involvement combined with the three latitudes gives a good cognitive map that shows the relationship between the three latitudes (Sherif & Nebergall, 1965). The chance that he is going to buy the iPhone for $700 is high. Trying to convince Clinton to buy the iPhone for $700 is a total waste of time since the price is far from his preferred price. This leads to contrast effect since the chance that Clinton will purchase the iPhone for $700 is very low close to infinity. Clinton is ego- involved since his latitude of acceptance is low. The latitude of acceptance of Clinton is smaller. $100 is a lot of money to be forgone by Chris in order to purchase an iPhone and trying to persuade him to increase the money far from his budget will be difficult since customers like sticking to their budgets.
If the selling price is to be set at $750 it will be effective to persuade the customers to purchase the iPhones for $750 this is because the set price is neither too close nor too far from their preferred prices and their set budgets. Their latitude is of non-commitment since they will be in a dilemma of either to accept and purchase the iPhones or reject and stick to their stipulated budgets. $750 is neither to close nor too far from their set budgets. Conclusion Persuasion is the outcome of human judgment. Contrast effect is the exact opposite of assimilation effect since it is difficult to persuade a person to accept a situation or an idea far from his or her anchor position.
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