Social influence: Representation, imagination and facts

Studies on social influence bring us to fear that influence may alienate us and turn us into an agent of the will and desire of the other. This fear relies on a representation of the relationship of influence: it would be an asymmetrical relationship involving two basically opposite and complementary entities, the source and the target .If some experiments in social psychology demonstrate the effectiveness of some techniques of influence and manipulation, they must however be analysed in detail. Many experiments and theories show that influence is not basically nonreciprocal. These works are neglected because they are too different from the imaginary representation of influence that dominates both social psychology and common sense
Keywords Social influence  Social representations  Submission  Imaginary  Manipulation
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