The Science Behind: Peer Pressure

Chances are, your parents have definitely told you about peer pressure. They’ve told you to be your own person, make your own choices, and do what you want. Yet, peer pressure still happens. Why?


Peer pressure is when an individual feels pressured to do something or change because of influences from their peers (hence the name, peer pressure). However, despite what you have heard, not all peer pressure is bad.


Negative Peer Pressure:

Negative peer pressure is the cautionary tale all our parents told us about. The one where people make us do things that we know are wrong, such as skipping class, cheating, and basically anything that’s a big no on your moral compass.


Positive Peer Pressure:

This is, as you can see above, the good side of peer pressure. Positive peer pressure might be something like persuading your friends to join a study group, doing homework together, or just anything that might benefit a person and their experiences.


But the big question is, why do we succumb to peer pressure? Well when growing up, children use imitation or copying others, as a tool. It makes sense that as they grow up and become exposed to a world where their peers are more prevalent, this behavior of imitation could become copying their peers or peer pressure. Also, it is human nature to go with the group. If everybody is doing a certain thing, then an individual will feel the need to follow along.


How do we overcome peer pressure?

Set values for yourself. You may have already heard of what values are, or even have some set for yourself.

Find like-minded people. Find a group of people you share common interests and values with. Chances are, they’re going to end up steering you in the right direction, and you, them.


Peer pressure is an integral part of life, and you can’t avoid it. Simply be mindful, understand why it happens, and how to come out a better person from it.


Sources:

Peer Pressure: Why We Feel It, How to Overcome it, Can It Be Positive? (cognifit.com)


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