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Business English Exercises
 

Group influences on the consumer

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Home > Teaching Business English > Business English Lessons, Advanced Level # 218
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Dr. Lars Perner of the Marshall School of Business reminds us that humans are ......... social animals, and individuals greatly influence each other.


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A useful framework of analysis of group influence on the individual is the so-called 'reference group' — the term comes ......... because an individual uses a relevant group as a standard against which oneself is compared.


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Reference groups come in several different forms: the ......... reference group refers to those others against whom one would like to compare oneself; for example, many firms use athletes as spokespeople, and these represent what many people would ideally like to be.


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......... reference groups include people who more realistically represent the individuals' current equals or near-equals — e.g., coworkers, neighbors, or members of churches, clubs, and organizations.


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Finally, the ......... reference group includes people that the individual would not like to be like.


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For example, the store named 'The Gap' was created because many younger people wanted to actively be distinguished from parents and other older and '.........' people.


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The Quality Paperback Book specifically suggests in its advertising that its members are '.........' from conventional readers of popular books.


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Another ......... divides reference groups into the informational kind (influence is based almost entirely on members' knowledge), normative kind (members influence what is perceived to be 'right', 'proper', or 'responsible'), or identification kind.


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In case of the normative reference group, the individual tends to comply largely for ......... reasons-dressing according to company standards is likely to help your career, but there is no real motivation to dress that way outside the job.


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In contrast, people comply with identification groups' standards for the ......... of belonging-for example, a member of a religious group may wear a symbol even outside the house of worship because the religion is a part of the person's identity.


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Business English Practice Exercises Business English Tests — several topics are covered: office matters, job applications, computer English, money expressions, business law, operations management, retail marketing, e-commerce, accounting terms, contracts and agreements, commercial correspondence, etc.
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