Thresholds In Behavior – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Independent of our beliefs and values we each have thresholds in our behavior. These thresholds are specific to each situation and are influenced by the behavior of those around us. Knowing how they function helps to understand how we work.

Mark Granovetter and other social scientists developed theories around predicting behavior based on the peer pressure of the group around an individual.

Some of us have high thresholds that resist changing behavior in a crowd. An example could be how emergency responders might run toward an emergency instead of away as crowds tend to do.

Some of us have low thresholds where we change our behavior quickly with the crowd. An example being when someone calls for quiet and a group stops talking all at once.

These thresholds come into play for all of us and are unique to nearly every situation we encounter based on the size of the group, the situation at hand, and a wide range of other variables. Granovetter observed how sometimes we even work against our own beliefs and values once that threshold is triggered. The group has influence on the individual based on the threshold.

Have you seen this play out recently? It is possible for one individual to have a low threshold for needing a stockpile of toilet paper and a high threshold of resisting wearing a mask.

How does the threshold model play out in your life? Do you know it is there? What are your thresholds? What are the tipping points for your family, friends and co-workers? Is your low resistance or high resistance to a threshold helping or hurting you? –

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