Do you learn better when you’re alone? Do you run into problems when you’re with a group of people? These are two questions many people ask themselves before presenting their reports or selling their works.
For one thing, solitude is necessary for the deep and meaningful learning process. In addition, not all people work the same way; different personalities will make it easy or difficult to learn with specific groups. Here are some of the social influences related to learning.
Leisure Time. People who don’t have enough leisure time find it difficult to learn as much as they would like because they become bored and disinterested in what they’re doing. In addition, they’re too fatigued to learn effectively. This leads to discouragement and burnout, which can have a negative effect on the learning process.
Peer Pressure. This is one of the most potent influences on learning that people encounter. As children, we are taught by our parents how to behave and what your attitude should be. However, once we start school, our parents aren’t there anymore to give us pointers when we act in an unacceptable manner. We need friends and classmates who understand us and can help us modify our behavior so that it becomes more acceptable in society at large.
Self-Interest. Another good way to learn is to have a purpose. People who have interests can use them to motivate themselves when they encounter obstacles. They realize that they need to learn the subject so that they can achieve their goals. People who are interested in a particular subject will find it easier to understand and retain information than those who aren’t interested will.
Peers and Parents. The people we associate with play a huge role in our lives, especially when we’re young. Peer pressure is a major issue for teens; as children, this pressure becomes extremely important in shaping who we are and how we act as adults. Children are especially susceptible to peer pressure because they lack personal knowledge in certain situations. By taking our cues from other people, we begin to subconsciously act in certain ways so as not to seem different than everyone else around us.
Social Comparison. This happened to me recently when I got my learner’s permit. As I was sitting down in the car and practicing my driving skills, I observed another woman who looked like her passenger was bored out of his mind. She was talking on a cellphone while driving, which kept him occupied and quiet, even though he could see that she was clearly not paying attention.