People seek closeness to others, they want to be part of a functioning relationship. This social desire also makes us receptive to Handling every kind.


Part of a working relationship

Even in infants, innate reflexes lead to them preferring to focus on other people. The babies turn theirs Head, if you are a human voice hear, or smile when they see a human face. Adults want to be close to others, they want to be part of a working relationship.

We worry about what others think of us. We try to present ourselves as attractive and interesting. Humans are social creatures. They have a need for social closeness, for contact with others. Relationships with other people are a reward of that need—we get Attention, Support, Status, confirmation and more.

The theory of social effect

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Bibb Latané formulated the social effect theory. He posits that social influence is determined by the factors of strength, proximity, and frequency. Strength depends on status, skills and connection to Audience. The closer a source is to us, the greater its effect.

You will find out how you can use the spatial proximity to convince others. First of all, we maintain that proximity to other people creates a greater degree of similarity. If we see people even more often, then you will trust us alone, because we often see them near us.

Repetition leads to prominence

Repetition leads to notoriety, notoriety leads to familiarity, we like the familiar more. This is exactly what applies to the people around us. Robert Zajonc demonstrated that people found a stimulus such as words or faces more interesting and enjoyable the more often they were exposed to it. Even when we see people more often, we write them even stronger expressions of special qualities such as honesty or Intelligence !

From this Perspektive considered, the large number of Sparkasse or Volksbank branches no longer appears to us as just a great service. Just the fact that we visit their branches so often and that they are close by makes them trustworthy. A clear misconception, because the number of branches says nothing about the actual performance of the financial products.

Spatial proximity is important for the attraction

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Physical proximity to other people, in turn, is an important factor in interpersonal attraction. Despite the many possibilities in social networks, the most significant interactions take place between people who are in the same place. We even find our partners mostly among people who have been physically close to us long enough – at the University, at Workplace or in a sports club.

The need to exchange ideas with people in the spatial environment is so great that the USA has its own internet offerings for this. They have set themselves the task of connecting people in an analogue way with virtual offers. The social Network Nextdoor wants to bring people together who live close together.

The desire for closeness leads to manipulation

On the website, users can post requests for help or offers for their neighborhood, as well as warnings about burglars, for example. Nextdoor has partnered with 170 cities and law enforcement agencies across the United States. Time Magazine named the site one of the top fifty sites in the world last year World. Currently, every fourth church in the USA is registered, that is more than 40.000.

No wonder people do this a lot too light are manipulable: Building sympathy and closeness is a crucial part of everyone Sales strategy. I tend to believe friends, I trust their advice. trust is constructed through similarity. And there is a lot of manipulation here.

Similarity makes friends?

When people wear similar clothes or share the same preferences, trust increases. Joint hobbies, joint activities, maybe even mutual friends – and even the hesitant one works out customers.

But why is it like that? Why do we have this instinctive need to look for friends, and more importantly, why let us influence them? The simple answer: people need the emotional proximity to others.

Two-factor theory of emotion

The two-factor theory of emotion, formulated by Stanley Schachter and Jerome Everett Singer, two American psychologists, describes how we determine our own information depending on what we do Behavior interpret other people. In one experiment, test subjects were administered a small dose of adrenaline, causing a state of mild excitement (heartbeat, blushing, slight tremors). Some of the test subjects were informed about this connection, others were not, and others were given a placebo.

After the injection, the subjects spent some time with another person presented to them as another subject with the same injection. In fact, it was a partner of the experimenter, who was restless and exuberant or annoyed. Uninformed subjects who sensed the effect of the drug but could not explain the cause interprets their condition depending on the behavior of the conspiratorial third party.

In case of uncertainty, we orient ourselves to others

The explanation is simple: when we are not aware of our feelings for sure we are guided by the reactions of the people in our immediate environment. This was certainly a very good survival strategy in the early days of human development. Orienting ourselves to the people in our environment saves us the need to gather our own experiences in many situations.

It's faster and spares us the consequences of some wrong ones decision. When others flee, it's better to run with them and not be the only one left behind. Eating only familiar foods saves us a stomach ache or worse. The group was usually a good source of advice and that is why we probably still like to be guided by people who form our personal environment.

Familiarity through physical closeness

Our instinctive behavior is also supported by the fact that such familiarity can be established through simple physical proximity. A quick touch on the arm, even from strangers, can be positive act. Bus drivers will say yes more easily if they are asked for a free ride and the asker touches their arm lightly.

Randomly selected passersby are more willing to participate in a survey, and guests give more tip if they have been briefly touched before. It seems that unobtrusive touches make us more sympathetic to other people.

This instinct for closeness may also lead to our personal Conversation rather buy than over Internet and phone. Due to the conditions of our evolution, we prefer to buy from a person who is very close and directly opposite us. If he is also familiar to us, then it falls to us fast hard not to buy.

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