One the things I love is human psychology and I was just reminded of this aspect of social proof or social influence.
I studied psychology and cognitive science at university while doing my information technology degree. I use that understanding every day in my new work of helping people make buying decisions. I and the people I know have said that the same psychology can be used for good and evil.
We can help people help themselves by crafting a strategic information journey to understand and make informed decisions about their future. I have crafted these journeys resulting in hundreds of thousands of customers who end up happier and a better person as a result.
But the big kicker is that we think we are operating from free will. There is an amazing book called Influence which is the foundation of so many things. We think out thoughts are our own... but it’s very interesting this illusion...
There is a famous experience called “Asch conformity experiments”. Give that a google. It’s interesting to understand how our psychology works.
Here is one link explaining a bit... It's so interesting.