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Social Psychology Exam #2 - Chapter 8
Terms in this set (45)
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." Different groups help us meet different human needs-to affiliate (to belong to and connect with others), to achieve, and to gain a social identity.
Define social facilitation (the current meaning)
The strengthening of dominant (prevalent, likely) responses in the presence of others
How did Zajonc explain the initially confusing effects of the presence of others?
Arousal enhances whatever response tendency is dominant. Increased arousal enhances performance on easy tasks for which the most likely-"dominant"-response is correct. On complex tasks, for which the correct answer is not dominant, increased arousal promotes incorrect responding. If social arousal facilitates dominant responses, it should boost performance on easy tasks and hurt performance on difficult tasks.
What physiological responses do we have to the presence of others?
With others present, people perspire more, breathe faster, tense their muscles more, and have higher blood pressure and a faster heart rate.
Describe "choking" and why it occurs
Given extreme pressure, we're vulnerable to "choking." Stutterers tend to stutter more in front of larger audiences than when speaking to just one or two people.
What is evaluation apprehension?
Concern for how others are evaluating us-a conflict between paying attention to others and concentrating on the task
Give examples of research findings consistent with the hypothesis that evaluation apprehension causes social facilitation
The enhancement of dominant responses is strongest when people think they are being evaluated.
In one experiment, individuals running on a jogging path sped up as they came upon a woman seated on the grass-if she was facing them rather than sitting with her back turned; blindfold example-people who were blindfolded did not boost well-practiced responses compared to the effect of the watching audience
Define social loafing
The tendency for people to exert less effort when they pool their efforts toward a common goal than when they are individually accountable
Describe research demonstrating social loafing.
-A group of Massachusetts researchers made individuals think others were pulling a rope with them, when in fact they were pulling alone. Blindfolded participants were told to "pull as hard as you can." They pulled 18 percent harder when they knew they were pulling alone than when they believed that behind them two to five people were also pulling.
-Researchers blindfolded six people, sat them in a semicircle, and had them put on headphones, over which they were blasted with the sound of people shouting or clapping. People could not hear their own shouting or clapping, much less that of others. On various trials they were instructed to shout or clap either alone or along with the group. People who were told about this experiment guessed the participants would shout louder when with others, because they would be less inhibited. However, when the participants believed five others were also either shouting or clapping, they produced one-third less noise than when they thought themselves alone.
What are free riders?
People who benefit from the group but give little in return
Contrast the role of evaluative concerns in social loafing vs. in social facilitation
When people are not accountable and cannot evaluate their own efforts, responsibility is diffused across all group members. When made the center of attention, people self-consciously monitor their behavior. So, when being observed increases evaluation concerns, social facilitation occurs; when being lost in a crowd decreases evaluation concerns, social loafing occurs.
Under what conditions are people less likely to engage in social loafing?
People in collectivist cultures exhibit less social loafing than people in individualistic cultures. Women tend to be less individualistic than men and exhibit less social loafing. People in groups loaf less when the task is challenging, appealing, or involving. Adding incentives or challenging a group to strive for certain standards also promotes collective effort. Groups also loaf less when their members are friends or they feel identified with or indispensable to their group-cohesiveness intensifies effort; smaller groups may increase effort also
Loss of self-awareness and evaluation apprehension; occurs in group situations that foster responsiveness to group norms, good or bad
What differences have been observed between the actions of big vs. small crowds?
Leon Mann found that when the crowd was small and exposed by daylight, people usually did not try to bait the person threatening to jump off of a bridge with cries of "jump." But when a large crowd or the cover of night gave people anonymity, the crowd usually did bait and jeer.
Brian Mullen reported a similar effect associated with lynch mobs: The bigger the mob, the more its members lose self-awareness and become willing to commit atrocities, such as burning, lacerating, or dismembering the victim.
How does Myers explain the effect of group size?
He says that evaluation apprehension plummets as group size increases. People's attention is focused on the situation, not on themselves. And because "everyone is doing it," all can attribute their behavior to the situation rather than to their own choices.
Describe examples of research on the effects of anonymity
-Asked to deliver electric shocks to a woman, the New Yorkers dressed as Ku Klux Klan, pressed the shock button twice as long as did women who were unconcealed and wearing large name tags.
-Compared with drivers of convertibles and 4 x 4's with the car tops down, those who were relatively anonymous (with the tops up) honked on-third sooner, twice as often, and for nearly twice as long.
-Hidden observers noted that children in groups were more than twice as likely to take extra candy as solo children.
How does being anonymous affect people?
Anonymity feeds incivility; being anonymous makes one less self-conscious, more group-conscious, and more responsive to present cues in the situation, whether negative (Klan uniforms) or positive (nurses' uniforms).
According to research, how do people made self-aware behave differently than people not made self-aware?
People who are self-conscious, or who are temporarily made so, exhibit greater consistency between their words outside a situation and their deeds on it; Unself-conscious, deindividuated people are less restrained, less self-regulated, and more likely to act without thinking about their own values, and more responsive to the situation.
What are factors that decrease deindividuation?
Deindividuation decreases in circumstances that increase self-awareness: mirrors and cameras, small towns, bright lights, large name tags, undistracted quiet, individual clothes and houses.
Define group polarization
Group-produced enhancement of members' preexisting tendencies; a strengthening of the members' average tendency, not a split within the group.
Note evidence of group polarization
Discussion typically strengthens the average inclination of group members
-Discussion enhanced French students' initially positive attitude toward their president and negative attitude toward Americans
-When jury members are inclined to award damages, the group award similarly tends to exceed that preferred by the median jury member
-French students' dislike for certain other people was exacerbated after discussing their shared negative impressions
Group discussion can magnify both negative and positive tendencies-when people share negative impressions of a group, such as an immigrant group, discussion supports their negativity and increases their willingness to discriminate.
Describe how we can see the effects of group polarization in schools, communities, and on the internet
Schools - (the accentuation effect); over time, initial differences among groups of college students become accentuated. If the first-year students at college X are initially more intellectual than the students at college Y, that gap is likely to increase by the time they graduate.
Communities - During actual community conflicts, likeminded people associate increasingly with one another, amplifying their shared tendencies.
Internet - As broadband spreads, Internet-spawned polarization will increase.
Describe how people come to join terrorist groups and the process of becoming a terrorist
Terrorism does not erupt suddenly. Rather, it arises among people who shared grievances bring them together and fans their fire. As they interact in isolation from moderating influences, they become progressively more extreme. The social amplifier brings the signal in more strongly. The result is violent acts that the individuals, apart from the group, would never have committed. The process of becoming a terrorist isolates individuals from other belief systems, dehumanizes potential targets, and tolerates no dissent. Group members come to categorize the world as "us" and "them."
According to Post (2005), what is the most effective antiterrorist policy and why?
Jerrold Post noes that it is difficult to influence someone once "in the pressure cooker of the terrorist group." "In the long run, the most effective antiterrorist policy is one that inhibits potential recruits from joining in the first place."
Explain how arguments, active participation, social comparison, and overcoming pluralistic ignorance can affect group polarization.
Arguments - When people hear relevant arguments without learning the specific stands other people assume, they still shift their positions. Arguments, in and of themselves, matter.
Active Participation - Produces more attitude change than does passive listening; when participants express them in their own words, the verbal commitment magnifies the impact; the more group members repeat one another's ideas, the more they rehearse and validate them.
Social Comparison - We are most persuaded by people in our reference groups-groups we identify with. Moreover, wanting people to like us, we may express stronger opinions after discovering that others share our views.
Pluralistic Ignorance - No longer restrained by a misperceived group norm, people are liberated to voice their preferences more strongly.
Define and give an example of pluralistic ignorance
Pluralistic ignorance is a false impression of what most other people are thinking or feeling, or how they are responding.
ex. impedes the start-up of relationships because two people who want to go out with each other are fearful of making the first move, presuming the other probably did not have a reciprocal interest.
The mode of thinking that persons engage in when concurrence-seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive in-group that it tends to override realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action.
Under what conditions is groupthink likely to occur?
Janis believed that the soil from which groupthink sprouts includes an amiable, cohesive group, relative isolation of the group from dissenting viewpoints, and a directive leader who signals what decision he or she favors
Summarize the symptoms of groupthink
-An illusion of invulnerability - The groups Janis studied all developed an excessive optimism that blinded them to warnings of danger.
-Unquestioned belief in the group's morality - Group members assume the inherent morality of their group and ignore ethical and moral issues.
-Rationalization - The groups discount challenges by collectively justifying their decisions.
-Stereotyped view of opponent - Participants in these groupthink tanks consider their enemies too evil to negotiate with or too weak and unintelligent to defend themselves against the planned initiative.
-Conformity pressure - Group members rebuffed those who raised doubts about the group's assumptions and plans, at time not by argument but by personal sarcasm.
-Self-censorship - To avoid uncomfortable disagreements, members withheld or discounted their misgivings.
-Illusion of unanimity - Self-censorship and pressure not to puncture the consensus create an illusion of unanimity. What is more, the apparent consensus confirms the group's decision.
-Mindguards - Some members protect the group from information that would call into question the effectiveness or morality of its decisions.
What aspects of groupthink theory have been supported in follow-up experiments?
-Directive leadership is indeed associated with poorer decisions
-Groups that make smart decisions have widely distributed conversation, with socially attuned members who take turn speaking
-Groups do prefer supporting over challenging information
-When members look to a group for acceptance, approval, and social identity, they may suppress disagreeable thoughts
-Groups with diverse perspectives outperform groups of like-minded experts
-In discussion, information that is shared by group members does tend to dominate and crowd out unshared information, meaning that groups often do not benefit from all that their members know
When do cohesive groups not produce groupthink?
In a secure, highly cohesive group (say, a family), committed members will often care enough to voice disagreement. The norms of a cohesive group can favor critical analysis, which prevents groupthink. When academic colleagues in a close-knit department share their draft manuscripts with one another, they want critique.
What are Janis's (1982) recommendations for preventing groupthink?
-Be impartial-do not endorse any position
-Encourage critical evaluation; assign a "devil's advocate"
-Occasionally subdivide the group, then reunite to air differences
-Welcome critiques from outside experts and associates
-Before implementing, call a "second-chance" meeting to air any lingering doubts
Describe evidence that several heads can be better than one
In work settings such as operating rooms and executive boardrooms, team decisions surpass individual decisions when the discussion values each person's skills and knowledge and draws out their varied information.
What are the effects of group brainstorming?
People feel more productive when generating ideas in groups (partly because people disproportionately credit themselves for the ideas that come out). They are inefficient; large groups cause some individuals to free ride on others' efforts; they cause others to feel apprehensive about voicing oddball ideas; they cause production blocking-losing one's ideas while awaiting a turn to speak
What are Brown and Paulus's (2002) suggestions for enhancing group brainstorming?
-Combine group and solitary brainstorming - Group brainstorming is most productive when it precedes solo brainstorming.
-Have group members interact by writing - Write and read rather than speak and listen
-Incorporate electronic brainstorming - Let individuals produce and read ideas on networked computers
What makes a minority persuasive?
Consistency, self-confidence, and defection
How do groups view and treat dissenters?
People may attribute dissent to psychological peculiarities; dissenters are often disliked
How can exposure to minority perspectives (or dissent from within one's own group) affect the majority's thinking?
Minority influence stimulates a deeper processing of arguments, often with increased creativity; they may contribute new ideas and stimulate new thinking; with dissent from within one's own group, people take in more information, think about it in new ways, and often make better decisions; it could cause the majority to rethink their decision
According to Levine (1989), how does defection affect minority influence?
Levine found that a minority person who had defected from the majority was even more persuasive than a consistent minority voice; once defections begin, others often soon follow, initiating a snowball effect.
The process by which certain group members motivate, mobilize, and guide the group
Describe task leadership and social leadership and the effects of each
Task Leadership - Leadership that organizes work, sets standards, and focuses on goals; task leaders generally have a directive style-one that can work well if the leader is bright enough to give good orders; being goal-oriented, such leaders also keep the group's attention and effort focused on its mission.
Social Leadership - Leadership that builds teamwork, mediates conflict, and offers support; social leaders generally have a democratic style-one that delegates authority, welcomes input from team members, and helps prevent groupthink; good for morale; group members usually feel more satisfied when they participate in making decisions; given control over their tasks, workers also become more motivated to achieve.
What type of leadership is used by the most effective supervisors?
Both task leadership and social leadership-effective leaders represent, enhance, and champion a group's identity
What behaviors do the most effective leaders exhibit?
They exhibit the behaviors that help make a minority view persuasive; they engender trust by consistently sticking to their goals; often exclude a self-confident charisma that kindles the allegiance of their followers; typically have a compelling vision of some desired state of affairs especially during times of stress; have an ability to communicate that vision to others in a clear and simple language; have enough optimism and faith in their group to inspire others to follow; they act as if they are competent
Define transformational leadership
Leadership that, enabled by a leader's vision and inspiration, exerts significant influence.
What do transformational leaders do and what are the results?
They are charismatic, energetic, self-confident extraverts who articulate high standards, inspire people to share their vision, and offer personal attention.
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