In Jonah Berger’s new book, Invisible Influence,

he says: “99.9% of all decisions are shaped by others. It’s hard to find  a decision or behavior that isn’t affected by other people.”

jonah berger invisible influenceBerger’s claim is we do not see how we are influenced by others. In multiple studies including Asch’s line length study in 1951, people choose the wrong answer because of groupthink, because everyone else did. I am interested in influence and the impact of social media on our choices. Multiple experiments say that the power of conforming is strong enough to select the wrong answer, “when the answer is clear, people still imitate others.” It is shocking but true that people will deny their reality to fit in with the group.

Berger’s questions include:

When do we imitate others and when do we avoid what they are doing? When do peers motivate us to work harder and when do they drive us to give up? And what does all this mean for happiness, health, success, both at home and at work?

What do we imitate?  I agree with Berger people are overwhelmed for choice and “knowing others like something also encourages people to give it the benefit of the doubt. If that many people bought it, it must be good.” If someone famous is involved in a project, it often does better. If a television star is involved, we may be more likely to buy it or follow it or watch it.

“Even without us realizing it, other people are constantly influence what we think, buy and do. But does social influence go even further? Could it influence how hard we’re driven to achieve? Whether we’re motivated to work harder or give up and quit?”

I know I am motivated by other people’s success. When I can see that someone else has figured it out, I know it is possible. It might be a long shot but I can start to see the steps to make something happen. I believe as Berger states: “peers don’t just affect what we choose, they motivate us to action. Others make us bike faster, save more energy and turn losing into winning.”

I meet many people who want to work with me or be introduced to someone else. Recently, I was able to introduce a former student of mine from Nickelodeon to a Buzzfeed personality. They had both said, if they did not have their dream job, they would want the other person’s job. I knew that they had to meet!

Michelle Khare Brec Bassinger Lisa Niver
Michelle Khare, Brec Bassinger, Lisa Niver at Buzzfeed

Michelle Khare and Brec Bassinger are finding their way in television, video and the Wild Wild West of the Internet. After I introduced them, Khare created a project at Buzzfeed for Bassinger and the video has been wildly successful!

Video: 1 Woman + 4 Nickelodeon Cartoon Characters

When we work together without conforming, magic can happen. I created my We Said Go Travel Writing Award after seeing the 30th International Sand Art Competition in Konark, India. I believe that the first time someone suggested the competition, everyone else said, “that will never work.” That is what most people told me about We Said Go Travel–it will never work. But 10 awards later, I have published 1700 writers from 75 countries. 

I believe I am influenced by others and I want to make sure I imitate those who can lead me in the direction of my dreams. I even made my own video of our day at Buzzfeed. I wonder what will happen next?

VideoFilming at Buzzfeed with Brec Bassinger & Michelle Khare May 2016

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a television host, travel journalist as well as a passionate artist, educator and writer who has explored 101 countries, 6 continents and sailed on cruise ships for seven years on the high seas and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which was read in 212 countries in 2018 and named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blog and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one million views on her YouTube channel. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on both Twitter and Facebook, has over 150,000 followers across social media and ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. She has been a finalist for six Southern California Journalism Awards in the past three years and won an award for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.

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We Said Go Travel

We Said Go Travel