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English definition of “reference group”

reference group

noun [C]    
MARKETING a group of people that influences the decisions and opinions of a person or group: Whether a person felt rich or poor compared to their reference group was also a way of predicting spending behaviour.
a group to which a person or another group is compared when you are studying the effects of something: They studied the difference between the industry's growth in the country as a whole, and the same industry's growth in the appropriate reference group. Children of households classified as having high or intermediate income were used as the reference group.
(Definition of reference group noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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