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Topic: How The Presence Of Others Affects Individual Behavior

Peer pressure is often used to describe instances where an individual feels indirectly pressured into changing their behavior to match that of the members of their peer group.

A peer group is a social group whose members have interests, social positions, and age in common. The influence of the peer group typically peaks during adolescence. However, peer groups generally only affect short term interests unlike the family, which has long term influence.

Peer groups cohesion is determined and maintained by such factors as group communication, group consensus, and group conformity concerning attitude and behavior. As members of peer groups interconnect, and agree, a normative code arises. This normative code can become very rigid deciding group behavior and dress. Peer group individuality is increased by normative codes, and intergroup conflict. Member deviation from the strict normative code can lead to rejection from the group. The term “peer pressure” is often used to describe instances where an individual feels indirectly pressured into changing their behavior to match that of their peers.


Key Points

• The term ”peer pressure” is often used to describe instances where an individual feels indirectly pressured into changing their behavior to match that of their peers.


Key Terms

peer pressure: encouragement by others in one’s age group to act or behave in a certain way.

peer group: a peer group is a social group whose members have interests, social positions, and age in common.

adolescence: the period following the onset of puberty during which a young person develops from a child into an adult

group conformity: a change in behavior or belief toward a group standard as a result of the group’s influence on an individual

normative code: a standard for evaluating or making judgments about behavior or outcomes



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