Similarity makes friends?
If people wear similar clothes or share the same preferences, confidence increases. Common hobbies, shared activities, maybe even common friends - and it is already with the hesitant customer.
But why is it like that? Why do we have this instinctive need to look for friends, and more importantly, why let us influence them? The simple answer: people need the emotional proximity to others.
Two-factor theory of emotion
The two-factor theory of emotion, formulated by Stanley Schachter and Jerome Everett Singer, two American psychologists, describes how we interpret our own information, depending on the behavior of other people. In one experiment, a small dose of adrenaline was administered to subjects, causing a condition of mild excitement (heart beat, blushing, mild tremors). Some of the investigators were enlightened about this, another part was not, others were given a placebo.
After the injection, the subjects spent some time with another person presented to them as another subject with the same injection. In fact, it was a partner of the experimenter, who was restless and exuberant or annoyed. Uninformed subjects who sensed the effect of the drug but could not explain the cause interprets their condition depending on the behavior of the conspiratorial third party.
In case of uncertainty, we orient ourselves to others
The explanation is simple: If we are not sure of our feelings, we are guided by the reactions of the people in our immediate environment. This was certainly a very good survival strategy in the early days of human development. To orient ourselves to the people in our environment saves us in many situations the need to accumulate own experiences.
It goes faster and saves us the consequences of many wrong decisions. When others flee, it is better to run along and not be left alone. Just eating well-known food saves us stomach ache or worse. In most cases, the group was a good guide, and we probably still want to be guided by people who form our personal environment.
Familiarity through physical closeness
For our instinctive behavior also speaks that such a familiarity can be established by simple physical proximity. A short touch on the arm, even from strangers, can have a positive effect. Bus drivers say easier, yes, if they are asked for a free ride and the questioner touches them lightly on the arm.
Randomly selected passersby are more willing to participate in a survey, and guests give more tip if they have been briefly touched before. It seems that unobtrusive touches make us more sympathetic to other people.
This instinct for proximity may also mean that we are more likely to buy in personal conversation than via the Internet and the telephone. Because of the conditions of our evolution, we prefer to buy from a person who is directly opposite us. If he is still familiar with us, it is very difficult for us to buy.
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