4.3.3    Influencing People’s Beliefs and Moral Values

People in social groups want to attract other members to the group, whether from natural sociability or from a desire to influence them and exert power.  Parents want children to share their values.  People can work or play together more effectively if they develop a team spirit. 

As described above (, people tend to conform to the expectations of their peer groups.  Obedience to the group’s values is internalised: others in the group no longer need to be present.  A group’s influence over its members is an incentive to persuade others to join, and there are several ways in which this is done:  

·     People can use peer-to-peer persuasion (, to change others' opinions or to recruit them into a like-minded group.

·     Children’s upbringing affects the way that they behave for the rest of their lives (

·     Religious organisations seek to bring people within their sphere of influence for several reasons (

(This is an archived page: a later version than the one published in Patterns of Power Edition 3a.  The latest versions are at book contents).