Social Psychology Exam: Group Influence

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What is a group?

two or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as "us" (Marvin Shaw, 1981)

What are the two types of group influence?

Group think and Group Polarization

What is Group think?

the tendency of decision-making groups to suppress dissent in the interests of group harmony

What is social facilitation?

You perform simple tasks better in the presence of others

What is group polarization?

group discussion often strengthens members' initial inclinations

What is mere presence?

individual effort that is not competitive (co-participants working individually on a non-competitive activity)

What are the main studies of social facilitation?

Triplett's bicycle racing study, Dashiell's audience effects study, Flyod Allport's co-action effects study, Alder&Tatum's avoidance learning study, and Zajonc's arousal study.

What is audience effect?

performing a task while people are watching or anticipating that others will watch

What is co action effect?

participants perform the same task individually, but in plain view of one another

How is task difficulty related to social facilitation? Discuss this in terms of the findings in the Michaels et al., pool study

Task difficulty is a moderator. The harder the task, the less likely the participant is to perform well in front of an audience

What are the three explanations for the arousal associated with social facilitation?

evaluation apprehension, distraction, mere presence

What is evaluation apprehension?

Scared that people will view performance negatively

What is distraction?

Person paying to much attention to audience?

What were the main studies of social loafing?

Tug of war studies, Ingham
Shouting/Clapping Study Latane
Exercise Bicycle Study Sweeney

What is social loafing?

individuals to exert less effort when they are working towards a common goal than if they are individually accountable (Kitty Geneve in NY)

What is the primary explanation for social loafing?

Individuals think that somebody else will do the task

What are the two major moderators of loafing?

loaf less when the task is challenging, appealing, and everybody can benefit
people loaf less when group members are someone they can relate to such as friends

What are the 3 main explanations for deindividuation?

Perceptual salience, evaluation apprehension, and situational attributions

What is Perceptual Salience?

people's attention is focused on the situation, not themselves

What is evaluation apprehension?

fear of being evaluated or judged is reduced

What is situational attributions?

because "everyone is doing it", can attribute behavior to the situation rather than to something internal

What is deindividuation?

when an individual becomes part of a group and lose individual accountability/ lose sense of self

What are two moderators of deindividuation?

Group size and anonymity in (Johnson & Downing) study replicated Zimbardo experiment; female college students dressed in nurses' uniforms (anonymous participants) were less aggressive in administering shocks than women whose names and personal identities were stressed.

What is a collective?

An assembly of people engaging in a common activity but having little direct interaction with each other

What is group processes?

Influence of others direct interaction with each other

What is group polarization?

Enhancement of pre-existing tendencies, strengthening members initial tendency

Stoner 1961 study

Presented participants first individually and then in group (5 or so) with decision dilemmas around how much risk hypothetical characters should take groups accentuate initial leanings.

Three explanations for group polarization?

Informational Influence Explanation: exposed to supporting arguments that hadn't heard before.
Normative Influence Explanation: people want to fit in so adjust attitude in direction of group

When is group think likely occur?

To preserve group harmony and failure to consider other alternative courses of action

Consequence of group think

Incomplete survey of objectives
Failure to reappraise initially rejected alternatives
Poor information search
Selective bias in processing information at hand
Failure to work out contingency plans

Four symptoms of group think

Close mindedness, Conformity pressure, stereotyped view of component, unquestioned belief in group morality.

What is the minority slowness effect?

tendency for minority member to take longer to express their viewpoint

Difference between majority and minority influence?

 Whereas majority influence is thought to operate via more normative influence, minority influence is thought to operate via informational influence (results in deeper processing of arguments)

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