We here review existing evidence for majority influences in children under the age of ten years and comparable studies with animals ranging from fish to apes. Throughout the review, we structure the discussion surrounding majority influences by differentiating the behaviour of individuals in the presence of a majority and the underlying mechanisms and motivations. Most of the relevant research to date in both developmental psychology and comparative psychology has focused on the behavioural outcomes, where a multitude of mechanisms could be at play. We further propose that interpreting cross-species differences in behavioural patterns is difficult without considering the psychology of the individual. Some attempts at this have been made both in developmental psychology and comparative psychology. We propose that physiological measures should be used to subsidize behavioural studies in an attempt to understand the composition of mechanisms and motivations underlying majority influence. We synthesize the relevant evidence on human brain function in order to provide a framework for future investigation in this area. In addition to streamlining future research efforts, we aim to create a conceptual platform for productive exchanges across the related disciplines of developmental and comparative psychology.
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