Peer pressure is a change in behavior that a person develops by seeing another person intentionally or unintentionally. It is the result of the perception that a person has related to influence, group of people or society. Peer pressure is an interesting topic in social psychology. It explains how people think of their actions as unique and personal decisions, when they actually are the inspirations from other people. Peer pressure is conformed to the group of people with whom the person socializes. It can influence the person in how he will think, perceive, or respond to a general behavior.
Peer pressure usually is absorbed from the people who are same in age. It begins in early childhood in which person likes playing game with his friends. It progresses with age and the person’s ability to accept peer response is at its peak in teenage. This pressure effects nearly all the teenagers who go to high school. With time peer pressure becomes a source of inspiration that people accept and try to apply in their career on their way to being independent. People spend less time in homes and more time with their friends while they are in in teenage. For children’s of age 8 to 14, peer pressure generally comes from the group of same gender. The information traverses with the group by verbal talk or communication means like social media and mobile phones. The selection of the group sometimes is entirely on the person and sometimes he gets interested in the group by response of a close friend towards that group or general opinion about the group. Depending upon the social group of the person, peer pressure can have either positive or negative effects that help the person deciding his ambitions in his life.
The effects of peer pressure on choosing ambitions in life are interesting. During teenage, people are quick in their decisions and analysis of an issue. They are more drawn to quick rewards of the decision and pay less time in analyzing risks of the issue. They are intolerant in their response, lack the ability to think ahead of time, and take great effect of the peers responses.
Teenagers have to make their decisions in the most stressful conditions without any guidance. Though most of the schools appoint student advisers that help students decide their career and tell them their ability to perform for a certain job, but still most students choose their career by getting inspiration from other students and their response towards the benefits and opportunities that this career may provide.
The negative effects of peer pressure when people try to convince the person to perform a work that can be either harmful for his body or is against the law. The describer shapes the work in most pealing way and describes it as the most fun activity. He encourages his peers to do the daring thing and sometimes demonstrates it in front of them, this phenomenon is the result of most common crimes in the world and even social issues like drug use, alcohol use, or use of ammunition. A person who gets inspired by these negative influences loses his ability to decide a better ambition in life and sometimes gets so much involved in them that he loses his self and develop psychological and health issues. The statistics acquired from the crime control association in America for the year 2010 describe that there were 4,828 young people from ages 10 to 24 that were involved in criminal activities, which makes an average of 13 per day.
Similarly there are many positive aspects of peer pressure in relation to choice of ambitions. When a person gets inspired of a peer who is performing well in his career or likes a profession as a career. It develops a sense of motivation and encouragement within the person. He starts seeing himself successful and his productivity increases. The person then pays more attention to his goals and the ways to achieve them. This motivation can be of two types; negative or positive. It is possible that a bad company who is trying to pull its members in nonproductive activities inspire the person to get attracted to it and start acting according to it, or it can happen oppositely when the person gets inspiration to do better than the group and eventually work hard to achieve his goals both to be successful in his life and positively inspire his peers. Positive Peer pressure can also induce obedience and respect in a person and change the response of a person towards his parents or elders of the society, and may help them be a better part of the society.
To resist peer pressure it can be hard sometimes, especially when a person is in the phase of development. Just as people influence others to make negative choices, it also can encourage them to make the positive one. The difference between a good or bad peer pressures arises with a simple comparison, when it is good the person is part of a group and when it is bad the person belongs to a gang. According to researchers if peer pressure is forcing a person to act appropriately,or do the right thing, or is providing positive effects, the peer pressure is positive and it should be encouraged. But if the peer pressure is encouraging to involve in morally ill, or unlawful activities the person should change the group. Parents should keep check on the company their children are a part of and attracted to and guide them about the consequences to choose the negative one, as it is the responsibility of parents to ensure better future of their children.
Ambert, Anne-Marie. “A qualitative study of peer abuse and its effects: Theoretical and empirical implications.” Journal of Marriage and the Family (1994): 119-130.
Brown, B. Bradford. “The extent and effects of peer pressure among high school students: A retrospective analysis.” Journal of youth and adolescence 11.2 (1982): 121-133.
Clasen, Donna Rae, and B. Bradford Brown. “The multidimensionality of peer pressure in adolescence.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 14.6 (1985): 451-468.