Mapping Social Influence Strategies

Mapping Social Influence Strategies

imagePeople who train in STEM-only industries like those in risk, safety and security tend to be naïve and mis-educated about the nature of social influence. A search through any of the texts in risk and safety curriculum on the marked indicate strong influences of STEM-only behaviourist thinking. In the risk and safety industries the curriculum is primarily focused on humans as objects in systems hence the expression ‘human factors’. As long as risk and safety seek reform through STEM thinking, there will be no reform of either industry ( ).

Industries that are naïve about the nature of perception, motivation and social influence tend to be ‘binary’ (black and white) about human activity and understand humans through a behaviourist lens. The discourse of zero is the outcome of this binary behaviourist ideology.

The behaviourist view understands humans simplistically as the sum of inputs and outputs. The behaviourst view of motivation is equal to the success of the ‘pleasure and pain principle’. Motivation for behaviourism is based on a materialist assumption and so motivation is just about positive or negative reinforcement. Unfortunately, this is an interpretation of human being that is attributed but doesn’t fit. Humans are far more complex than this imposition, which is why a behaviourist method only work sporadically or temporarily.

When we adopt a transdisciplinary approach to human activity we spread our view of curriculum across the disciplines rather than being locked in one worldview ( ). If one were to consider anything that is known in the discipline of social psychology and apply that to risk and safety, the whole worldview would change because the frame of understanding humans shifts from a mechanical view to a view that includes social being.

In order to better understand strategies in human social influence I have offered readers of this blog a free A3 poster download of my Mapping of Social Influence Strategies tool. Hopefully this might help readers understand the complexities of social influence and dispel the naïve discourse associated with behaviourist binary ideology that dominates the risk and safety industry. You won’t find anything like this in any risk and safety text, body of knowledge or zero handbook.

Please note: The tool is copyright to Dr Robert Long so cannot be on-sold or used in a commercial setting without permission. Dr Long doesn’t give permission for this tool to be used commercially without prior training in SPoR. Training in SPoR gives context to the tool and allows its proper use.

Those who study with the Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR) in the Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk ( normally spend a day working through this mapping tool with either Dr Long or one of the lecturers ( ). The tool is focused on the eight primary dynamics in social influence, these are:

  1. Reciprocation
  2. Consistency

  3. Social Proof

  4. Liking

  5. Authority

  6. Scarcity

  7. Landscaping and

  8. Altercasting

These dynamics are mapped accordingly:

DOWNLOAD THE A3 VERSION HERE:  Mapping-Social-Influence-Strategies-diagram-A3-002.pdf (1058 downloads)


Dr Rob Long

Dr Rob Long

Expert in Social Psychology, Principal & Trainer at Human Dymensions
Dr Rob Long

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Dr Rob Long
PhD., MEd., MOH., BEd., BTh., Dip T., Dip Min., Cert IV TAA, MRMIA Rob is the founder of Human Dymensions and has extensive experience, qualifications and expertise across a range of sectors including government, education, corporate, industry and community sectors over 30 years. Rob has worked at all levels of the education and training sector including serving on various post graduate executive, post graduate supervision, post graduate course design and implementation programs.

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