A new study published in Science has quantified the number of people who need to take a stand before they can affect societal change on important topics like sexual harassment and human rights. And that number? It’s a mere 25% of any group. Only 25% of people need to adopt a new social norm to create an inflection point where everyone in the group follows.
In a study, people ate less meat and conserved more water when they thought those behaviors reflected how society is changing.
Levels of social trust, averaged across a country, predict national economic growth as powerfully as financial and physical capital, and more powerfully than skill levels – over which every government in the world worries about incessantly. It is also associated with many other non-economic outcomes, such as life satisfaction (positively) and suicide (negatively).
In general, “you’re 10 to 15 times as likely to buy something your friends bought because you have the same inherent preferences, and twice as likely because your friends influenced you,” Aral says. However, the level of peer influence varies by how connected the people are— fellow alumni exert more influence over one another than neighbors—and whether or not the message is personal.
"Perhaps the most powerful influence on human behaviour is other people."
Slight changes in the way you word a message can make a big difference in its effectiveness
how to create a social norms campaign from State University of New York at New Paltz
Higher Education Center for Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drugs