From the beginning of this book I have talked about people as being social animals, and I hope I have shown just how fundamental this fact is to how we interact with other people. But being a social human isn’t only about belonging to social groups; we are strongly influenced just by the presence of others, whether they are in the same group as us or not. Indeed, in some situations, other people can exert quite a lot of control over how we act — even though we don’t know them, or are just hearing from them through the internet. In this chapter, we will be looking at some of the ways that other people directly affect our behaviour.