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Social reality

Social reality is distinct from biological or individual cognitive reality, and consists of the accepted social tenets of a community. Some sociologists, notably John Searle and Barry Wellman, believe that the social reality can be established separately from that of any individual or the surrounding ecology (at odds with the views of perceptual psychology including those of J. J. Gibson, and those of most ecological economics theories).

If one accepts the validity of the idea of social reality, scientifically, it must be amenable to measurement. Theories of the measurement of trust in the sociological community are usually called theories of social capital, to emphasize the connection to economics, and the ability to measure outputs in the same manner.

The best-known principle of social reality is "the big lie", which states that an outrageous untruth is easier to convince people of than a less outrageous truth. Many examples from politics and theology, e.g. the claim that the Roman Emperor was in fact a "god", demonstrate that this principle was known by effective propagandists from early times, and continues to be applied to this day, e.g. the propaganda model of Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, which supports the 'big lie' thesis with more specifics.

Compare socially constructed reality

See also: social capital, community, propaganda, belief