Chapter 9: Group Processes
Terms in this set (76)
Two or more people in an interdependent relationship that fulfills needs or achieves goals
Why Join Groups?
- helps sense of self
- strengthens identity
- reinforces values
- to feel good
- the explicit or implicit rules defining what is acceptable behavior.
- form naturally
- don't need to be formal
- pressure to follow them
qualities of a group that bind members together and promote mutual liking
- attraction to a group
- feeling of closeness
What 5 things lead to more cohesion within a group?
More time together
= more cohesive
= more cohesive
lead to cohesion
can lead to cohesiveness
leader encourages positive relationships
Can too much cohesion cause a problem?
- group is more preoccupied with maintaining cohesion than achieving the shared goal
- becomes toxic and problematic, making the group less efficient
- Tendency to homogeneity (similarity)
- over time, your attitudes and beliefs shift to the average of the groups'
- More friction in diverse group....
- ...but often better outcomes
--> may prevent less than optimal group norms
Social Roles: People will take on roles in group based on:
- Group identity
- Personal Goals
Melodie is working with a
of her classmates picking up trash in a local park. At the end of the day, each of the different classes combines their litter to see which class won by collecting the most. It's a
, mindless task, and Melodie does not put her full effort into it. What might explain Melodie's lackluster work?
a) social facilitation
b) social loafing
b) social loafing
Stanford Prison Experiment (Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo, 1973)
- shows the influence of
on behavior and thought
- can social roles affect how we act?
- people with mental illness ruled out for this study
- randomly assigned to prisoner or guard
- sunglasses, outfit, club, orientation, how to keep order without hitting prisoners
- actual police came and arrested them
- given a chain and padlock on ankle to remind them, given a number and referred to by it
- prisoner get nasty as they start to get bored
- guards retaliate, making prisoners clean and do physical tasks
note that this happened quickly
note that not all participants acted to these extremes
- participants really embraced their roles within the group
- even Zimbardo fell victim acting as "superintendent"
- study cancelled after 6 days
- participants didn't go in as blank slates, and acted like what they believed they were supposed to act like based on past examples
Results of Stanford Prison Experiment?
changed based on their assigned
- in the moment, participants said it felt very real
People do things they previously thought that they'd never do based on social roles!
- if you think that you are immune, it makes you even more vulnerable to it!
Improved individual performance when in the presence of other people
- seems to
work on easy tasks but not difficult ones
- individual performance must be able to be measured
How does social facilitation work?
The presence of others causes arousal, which "facilitates a dominant response."
- arousal facilitates the dominant response
Triplett (1898) Study
- Wanted to see why cyclists seemed to ride faster in groups
- Several different ideas:
--> Based on other theories/research
--> Focused on presence of others
--> ex - drafting, hypnotism, anxiety
- it's something about being around others that makes you go faster
Experiment: See how long it takes kids to get the flag to go from one side to the other
- by themselves versus against someone else
- how fast they do it
Results - kids make the flag move faster when competing against someone else
- example of
For easy tasks, the dominant response is:
For difficult tasks, the dominant response is:
Zajonc, Heingartner, & Herman (1969) Study
: Task Difficulty (easy vs hard)
--> easy: run unimpeded to the dark box
--> difficult: must turn right to reach the dark box
: Audience (yes vs no)
: Time to Completion
: (in secs)
- Simple, alone: 62.6
- Simple, audience: 39.3
- Hard, alone: 221.4
- Hard, audience: 296.6
social facilitation theory
Mere presence effect
Conspecifics (same species) create arousal
they don't even need to be paying attention
, just their presence is enough to create arousal
Desire to avoid embarrassment/negative evaluation
How does evaluation apprehension differ from social facilitation?
when the audience is blindfolded, arousal doesn't happen (so it breaks the mere presence effect)
Presence of others causes attentional conflicts & cognitive overload that affect performance
Ringelman and Social Loafing
how does adding more animals increase their work efficiency?
the more people you add, the less effort that each person puts in
Productivity decreases due to imperfectly coordinated effort
Individuals exert less effort in groups compared to working alone
the tendency for people to relax when they are in the presence of others and their
individual performance cannot be evaluated
, such that they do worse on
that they don't care about but better on complex tasks that are important to them
What 2 things have to be true in order for social loafing to be applicable?
- Individual effort can't be identified
- Task is seen as unimportant or simple
- what is good for the group vs what is good for the individual
The Harvesting Dilemma
- do you
- as a group, you want to limit fishing in order to maintain a minimum source
- as an individual, you are looking to profit and therefore want to fish a lot
The Contribution Dilemma
- do you
the shared resources?
- npr and pbs are free
- but somebody has to sustain it
- if people refuse to contribute, it'll go away
- need to affirmatively maintain
How do you solve these dilemmas? Coercion
- force them
- laws, fines
How do you solve these dilemmas? Appeals to Group Identity
- focus on your role in the group
- think of yourself as a member of the group
Most groups have how many members?
shared expectations in a group about how particular people are supposed to behave in a certain position
The presence of others enhances performance on ______________ tasks
The roaches took ________ to solve the difficult maze task when other roaches were present than when they were alone
Researchers have developed three theories to explain the
role of arousal
in social facilitation:
1. Other people cause us to become particularly
alert and vigilant
--> When someone else is in the room, however, we have to be alert to the possibility that he or she will do something that requires us to respond.
2. they make us
about how we're being
--> This concern about being judged, called evaluation apprehension, can cause arousal
--> it is not the mere presence of others but rather the
presence of others who are evaluating us
that causes arousal and subsequent social facilitation
from the task at hand.
--> this divided attention produces arousal
If you are a manager who wants your employees to work on a
relatively simple problem
, how should you divide them?
- a little evaluation apprehension is not such a bad thing—it may very well improve performance. (simple task - do better when others watch)
- You shouldn't place your employees in groups where their individual performance cannot be observed because lowered performance on simple tasks is likely to result due to social loafing.
If you want your employees to work on a
difficult, complex task
, what is the best route to go?
- lowering their evaluation apprehension—by placing them in groups in which their individual performance cannot be observed—is likely to result in better performance.
loosening of normal constraints
on behavior when people can't be identified (such as when they are in a crowd)
- getting lost in a crowd can lead to an unleashing of behaviors that we would never dream of exhibiting by ourselves
- "mob mentality"
feel less accountable for their actions
when they recognize there is a reduced likelihood that they can be singled out and blamed for their behavior
Becoming deindividuated (increases/decreases) the extent to which people obey the group's norms
- When these group members are together and deindividuated, they become
more likely to act according to the group norms than societal norms.
T/F: Deindividuation always lead to aggressive or antisocial behavior
- it can, but it depends on what the group's norm is
- For example, imagine that you are at a rowdy party at which everyone is dancing wildly to loud music. To the extent that you feel deindividuated—it is dark, and you are dressed similarly to other people—you are more likely to join the group and let loose on the dance floor, rather than if the room was bright and no one was dancing.
What can counteract deindividualization?
- emphasis societal norms that are different from the group's norms
- remind people of their unique, personal identity
Group Decisions: One potential problem is that a group can perform well
the most expert or talented members can convince the others that they are right
example of process loss
- Groups might not try hard enough to find out who the most competent members are and instead rely on someone who really doesn't know what he or she is talking about.
Any aspect of group interaction that
inhibits good problem solving
- Other causes of process loss involve communication problems, such as failure to listen or one person being allowed to dominate the discussion while others tune out
Failure to Share Unique Information
groups tend to focus on the information they already collectively share, talking less about facts known to only some members of the group
When is unique information more likely to be brought up?
- later in the discussion
- tell group members not to share what their initial preferences are at the outset of the discussion
- assign different group members to specific areas of expertise so that they know that they alone are responsible for certain types of information
The combined memory of a group that is more efficient than the memory of the individual members
A kind of decision process in which maintaining group cohesiveness and solidarity is more important than considering the facts in a realistic manner
When is groupthink more likely to occur?
- when the group is highly cohesive
- isolated from contrary opinions
- ruled by a directive leader.
Symptoms of groupthink
- The group begins to feel that it is invulnerable and can do no wrong.
- People exercise self-censorship, failing to voice contrary views because they are afraid of dampening the group's morale or because they fear being criticized by others.
- If anyone does voice a contrary viewpoint, the rest of the group is quick to criticize, pressuring the person to conform to the majority view.
This kind of behavior creates an illusion of unanimity where it looks as if everyone agrees, even if, under the surface, they privately do not.
Groupthink leads to:
an inferior decision-making process
- the group does not consider the full range of alternatives, develop contingency plans, or adequately consider the risks of its preferred choice.
Ways that leaders can make groupthink less likely:
Seek outside opinions.
Seek anonymous opinions.
T/F: Groups tend to make decisions that are more extreme in the same direction as the initial predispositions of their members
- So if the individual members of a group are already leaning toward a risky decision, group discussion will usually exaggerate that risky tendency.
- But when people are initially inclined to be conservative, groups tend to make even more conservative decisions than individuals do.
The tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclinations of their members
Group polarization reasoning: persuasive arguments
- all individuals bring to the group a set of arguments supporting their initial recommendation
- you might be exposed to persuasive arguments you hadn't thought of before
- this further solidifies your reasoning
Group polarization reasoning: social comparison
- when people discuss an issue in a group, they first check out how everyone else feels
- In an effort to fit in and be liked, many people then take a position that is similar to everyone else's but even just a little bit more extreme.
- want to be seen as "good" group members
People tend to (underestimate/overestimate) how polarizing groups can be
- we as individuals are often unaware of the polarizing effects that group membership has on our own attitudes, perceiving instead that our beliefs have remained unbiased and stable over time.
The Great Person Theory
the idea that certain key personality traits make a person a good leader, regardless of the situation
- however, surprisingly few personality characteristics correlate strongly with leadership effectiveness, and the relationships that have been found tend to be modest
Leaders who set clear,
goals and reward people who meet them
Leaders who inspire followers to focus on common,
T/F: Transactional and Transformational leaders are mutually exclusive
these styles are
not mutually exclusive
; in fact, the most effective leader is one who adopts both styles
Contingency theory of leadership
The idea that the effectiveness of a leader depends both on how task- or relationship-oriented the leader is and on the amount of control the leader has over the group
Contingency theory of leadership: Task-oriented leaders
concerned more with getting the job done than with workers' feelings and relationships
Contingency theory of leadership: Relationship-oriented leaders
concerned more with workers' feelings and relationships
In what situations do task-oriented leaders do well in?
high-control work situations
, when the leader's position in the company is clearly perceived as powerful and the work needing to be done by the group is structured and well defined
low-control work situations
, when the leader is not perceived as powerful and the work needing to be done is not clearly defined
In what situations do relationship-oriented leaders do well in?
- They are most effective in
moderate-control work situations
- Under these conditions, the wheels are turning fairly smoothly, but important work still needs to be done; the leader who can promote strong relations between individual employees will be the most successful
One reason why it is difficult for women to achieve leadership positions is that many people believe that good leaders have ________ traits (e.g., assertive, controlling, dominant, independent)
- these are normally thought to be traits more associated with men
In contrast, women are stereotypically expected to be more _____________ (e.g., concerned with the welfare of others, warm, helpful, affectionate)
Because women are seen to be more communal, they are often put in charge of interpersonal crisises, situations in which it is relatively __________ to succeed
- Even when women have broken through the "glass ceiling" into top leadership positions, they are more likely than men to be put in charge of units that are in crisis and in which the risk of failure is high
There is universal agreement about the value of two leadership qualities:______________ and _________________
charisma and being team oriented
A conflict in which the most beneficial action for an individual will, if chosen by most people, have harmful effects on everyone
A means of encouraging cooperation by at first acting cooperatively but then always responding the way your opponent did (cooperatively or competitively) on the previous trial
- This strategy communicates a willingness to cooperate and an unwillingness to sit back and be exploited if the partner is selfish
T/F: threats are not an effective means of reducing conflict
- it doesn't foster trust.
form of communication between opposing sides in a conflict in which offers and counteroffers are made and a solution occurs only when both parties agree
One limit to successful negotiation:
people often assume that they are locked in a conflict in which only one party can come out ahead
- They don't realize that a solution favorable to both parties is available
A solution to a conflict whereby the parties make trade-offs on issues, with each side conceding the most on issues that are unimportant to it but important to the other side
- the more people have at stake in a negotiation, the more biased their perceptions of their opponent
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