HOW TO DEAL WITH PEER PRESSURE?
Hello and welcome to the The SpokesDude Podcast episode 002. My name is Lungisa Joctrey, thank you very much for joining me. Let me start off by saying, if you haven’t yet, you are welcome to subscribe to The SpokesDude Network on iTunes. You can also go to our website http://thespokesdude.com and subscribe there. When you click on the subscribe button on iTunes or on the website, you always will be notified when a new episode or post has been released.
Well, let us waste no more of your time and get on with the business of the day. Today we are talking about “Peer pressure.” How to deal with peer pressure?
Dealing with this topic we are going to answer a few questions on peer
- What is peer pressure?
- Are there different kinds of peer pressure?
- Is peer pressure good or bad?
- If bad who are the victims?
- If bad, how to overcome peer pressure?
Let’s get to it then.
WHAT IS PEER PRESSURE?
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines peer pressure as, “ a feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age or social group in order to be liked or respected by them.”
Another definition I picked up from google search is, “influence from members of one’s peer group.”
ARE THERE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEER PRESSURE?
Peer pressure come in different forms. Some forms are well known and can be easily identified and other are subtle and affect a large number of people even those who think they are free from peer pressure.
(Non- Verbal) Asch Paradigm
I recently watched on YouTube three instances where an experiment was conducted to determine how an individual person would make an obvious wrong decision just because everyone is making it, even though that individual knows that it is wrong.
Right Answer/Wrong answer Experiment
The first two experiments I watched were practically the same. The one involved adults and the other teenagers. The majority of participants were ordered to give the same wrong answer so to determine how the test subject (who clearly had no clue that this was a setup) would react. The group was shown two images. One on the left and one on the right. The image in the right displayed three vertical lines and the one on the left had one vertical line. The group was required to compare the line on the left image with the three lines on the right image to determine which of the three line was of equal length as that to the left. The test subject eventually gave the wrong answer just as the whole group
The experiment was altered a bit, one more person was added who was instructed to give the right answer. With the partner who would give a right answer just before the test subject took their turn, the subject gave right answers.
The elevator experiment
We all know that when we enter the elevator we turn around and face the door. No one teaches us that. We all know it. It happens naturally. The experiment gets a large group of people who are spread from floor to floor and they each walk into the elevator, pick their floor number and stand facing the back of the elevator. Now again there would one test subject. Eventually about 80% of the test subject slowly turned to the back of the elevator just because they felt uncomfortable doing what others were not doing.
The traffic light decision
My observation of this kind of Peer Pressure is when we are in the city and we have to cross the road at the traffic light. I have heard a lot of angry car horns hooting at pedestrians who crossed the road illegally just because they followed two or three people who had carefully calculated their act to get to the other side despite the traffic. When some people see these brave idiots cross the road, they simply follow as sheep behind the shepherd, without even checking the traffic light.
So human beings have a tendency of depending on other people’s decision making, when making they own decisions. It does not matter whether these people are acquaintances or complete strangers. The philosophy is when you come to Rome you do as the Romans do.
Verbal Peer Pressure
This is a common type of peer pressure. An individual is persuaded by others into doing something they don’t want to do or something they know to be wrong just to avoid being ridiculed. They are told that taking drugs brings relaxation and clears the mind. They would cave in to the prompting of their peers or social group and participate in the practice that would otherwise ruin their lives rather than clear their mind.
Adult Peer Pressure
Many people think that only teenagers experience peer pressure. The adults also get to feel it and cave in to it.
One buys a new van just because each of his friends has one. Another will shop at a particular shop just because most of his acquaintances or his neighbors shop there. When I grew up you’d hear the adults say, “what would the people say?” or “what would the pastor say?”
Yes, adult peer pressure is even recorded in the bible in Matthew 21:23-27.
“And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.”
IS PEER PRESSURE GOOD OR BAD?
Peer pressure can be bad and also can be good. It simply depends on the context of it. We know that it is bad when people are bullied to do wrong things. Whenever peer pressure is mentioned that is the idea which comes to mind. We all sort of thing negative of peer pressure and for right reasons.
There can be instances where peer pressure is good. Like getting people to keep the local area clean. That kind of peer influence is good and it benefits everyone. It is also good to get people to think more about helping those who are in need. These are just examples of positive peer pressure.
IF BAD, WHO ARE THE VICTIMS?
Peer pressure affects everyone in general but in most cases negative peer pressure affect teenagers and it has driven some to either drop out from school, to get in a criminal life, or to commit suicide.
IF BAD, HOW TO OVERCOME PEER PRESSURE?
My thought on this question is that, people should be educated on these issues. Teenagers and old people should be made aware of that we are responsible and accountable for everything we do. When we make decisions we should think carefully on whether we are doing the right or we are just please strangers who would abandon us we get into trouble.