A reference group is a group to which an individual or another group is compared, used by sociologists in reference to any group that is used by an individual as a standard for evaluating themselves and their own behavior.
There are three basic types of reference groups : informational, utilitarian, and value- expressive.
Formal reference groups have a specific goal or mission. They also have a specific structure and positions of authority. Examples of formal reference groups include: Labor unions. Mensa, a society for people with high IQ.
a group with whom an individual does not wish to be associated; a group whose use of a product will deter other buyers.
Examples of your normative reference groups include your parents, siblings, teachers, peers, associates and friends. A comparative reference group is a group of individuals whom you compare yourself against and may strive to be like. Examples include celebrities and heroes.
In- Groups and Out- Groups Fraternities, sororities, sports teams, and juvenile gangs are examples of in-groups . Members of an in- group often end up competing with members of another group for various kinds of rewards. This other group is called an out- group .
The following characteristics of Reference Group Behaviour may be pointed out: (i) The individual or group considers the behaviour of the other individual or group as ideal behaviour and imitates it. (ii) The individual or group compares himself or itself with the other individual or group .
Primary reference groups are basically the set of people whom you meet every day. They can be from your family, your close friends, your roommates, etc. These people from primary groups may have a direct and strong impact in your lives and your buying decisions since they are very significant to you.
Reference groups become the individual’s frame of reference and source for ordering his or her experiences, perceptions, cognition, and ideas of self. It is important for determining a person’s self-identity, attitudes, and social ties.
Examples of formal groups , or formal organizations, in society include military units, corporations, churches, court systems, universities, sports teams and charities. Formal organizations denote a social system defined by clearly stated rules, norms and goals.
Informal Groups There are people who have lunch together, carpool and play together and maybe work together. These informal groups emerge for a variety or reasons — common interests, language or other personal relationships.
Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another object. References feature in many spheres of human activity and knowledge, and the term adopts shades of meaning particular to the contexts in which it is used.
In a reference group , individuals are automatically assigned to a sub- group : aspirational or non- aspirational . An aspirational group is a reference group that an individual wishes to join, while a non- aspirational group is a reference group that an individual wishes to detach him or herself from.
Reference groups are considered a social influence in consumer purchasing . They are often groups that consumers will look to to make purchasing decisions. So if a reference group endorses a product, either through use or statements about the product, those that look to the group will often purchase that product.
In sociology and social psychology, an in- group is a social group to which a person psychologically identifies as being a member. By contrast, an out – group is a social group with which an individual does not identify.