- Normative social influence - going along with others in order to fit in
- Informational social influence - going along with others because we don't know what to do
This depends on whether you have a clear idea of how to act in a situation. If you know how to act but choose to do what others are doing instead, then it is an example of normative social influence. It is so called because you are going along with a social norm, rather than your own choice.
Situations where you don't have a clue what to do - such as how to use the public transport system in a foreign country - and choose to copy others, are examples of informational social influence - so called, because you look to others for information.
-> Read how this applies to characters in fiction.
Asch, S.E. (1955). Opinions and social pressure. Scientific American, 193, 31-35.
Deutsch, M., and Gerard, H.B. (1955). A study of normative and informational social influences upon individual judgment. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51(3), 629-636.
Jenness, A. (1932). The role of discussion in changing opinion regarding matter of fact. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 27, 279-296.