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 (4.3.2.2), 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 (4.3.3.1), 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 (4.3.3.2).
  • Religious organisations seek to bring people within their sphere of influence for several reasons (4.3.3.3).

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This is a current page, updated since publication of Patterns of Power Edition 3a.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/433a.htm