Sociometry: How important is the opinion of others?


How important are the opinions of others to you? Although the answer may seem simple, even if you think you don’t care about other people, there actually seems to be a way to control this.

How much do you value the opinions of others? In general, we tend to underestimate how important other people’s opinions are. However,  it is likely that there are ways to help you apply that information to your own behavior. To delve deeper into this problem, I would like to talk about the sociometer theory.

Social relation measurement theory

Sociometry speaks of psychological mechanisms that help to minimize the likelihood of rejection. Likewise, it is closely related to self-control while with others.

Regulatory mechanisms appear to respond to changes in relationship values. It defines a system that can analyze phenomena such as self-esteem or sensitivity to rejection reactions.

It can also help us understand personality disorders and the many reactions a person has to others.

Psychological indicators can even define valuable information about what happens when a person practices self-control in a dysfunctional manner. This form of self-control can further damage your relationships with others.

The Evolutionary Foundation of Social Relational Theory

Baumeister and Leary developed the socio-relational measurement theory of self-esteem. Gardner, Pickett, and Brewer developed and expanded this theory.

In other words, the research was conducted based on the idea that human beings cannot survive and reproduce without social relationships.

Therefore, humans have developed a system that can maintain these relationships. To do that, you need to monitor the reactions of others to your actions.

In particular, it is necessary to monitor the reaction to one’s own actions that may provoke social rejection.

The monitoring device warns the person of a change in status including himself or a decrease in social acceptance. In other words, these relationship status diagnosis devices motivate you to act in a certain way to repair situations that are detrimental to your relationship .

Likewise, it also warns against any behavior that could jeopardize one’s social bonds.

Simply put, humans develop psychological mechanisms to monitor a person’s indirect visual environment by looking for clues related to a person’s relational values ​​in the surrounding environment.

Emotions: Measuring Tools

According to social relations measurement theory, self-esteem is an indicator of the quality of social relations. When a person behaves in a way that leads to rejection, self-esteem suffers.

On the other hand, if you continue to act with positive emotions, your self-esteem will increase. Therefore, it can be said that self-esteem has an important emotional component.

Nature has an alarm system that tells us through pain what we should avoid. In the same way, pleasure tells you what to keep going.

When a person’s needs are not met, unpleasant emotions cause the body to react and correct the unpleasant or threatening situation.

Likewise, emotions serve to warn you of situations that affect your well-being.

How do monitoring devices work?

This monitoring device operates subconsciously. It works when it detects that the value of a relationship is low or declining. Then, the monitoring device forces the person to take the situation consciously.

If you have been recently rejected, you may be more sensitive to what others think of you. If so, they will devote more cognitive resources to thinking about their social situation.

In fact, this sociometric theory asserts that self-esteem is an indicator, and therefore it makes no sense to act on it. Psychiatrist Pablo Marlowe likened this phenomenon to a fuel gauge.

This allows us to strengthen our self-esteem by acquiring social adaptation skills . In this sense, how you apply it to your situation and how you value it greatly affects your self-esteem.

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