The findings from a number of empirical studies support the commonly held belief that possessing social power increases people’s tendencies to take action, whereas powerlessness activates a general tendency to inhibit action.(1)
Theorists have typically distinguished between three types of social influence: Conformity, Compliance and Obedience.
Conformity is the yielding to perceived group pressure by copying the behavior and beliefs of others.(1)
Compliance is publicly acting in accord with a direct request. In compliance, people responding to a direct request may privately agree or disagree with the action they are engaging in, or they may have no opinion about their behavior(1)
Obedience is the performance of an action in response to a direct command from an authority figure. The major difference between compliance and obedience seems to be that the person making the request is an authority figure while with compliance the person is not.
(1)Social Psychology, Stephen Franzoi
Social Influence and Power