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PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Social Loafing, Intelligence Quotient, Group Cohesiveness

Course Code
PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

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PSYC 215 April 10th, 2012
Group Processes
What is a group?
- A set of individuals who have at least one of the following characteristics
o Direct interactions with each other over a period of time
Ex: PSYC 215 is not a “group” – we don‟t have direct interactions
o Joint membership in a social category based on sex, race, or other attributes
o A shared, common fate, indentity or set of goals
What is a collective?
- Collection of people who don‟t share characteristics of a group
- An assembly of people engaging in a common activity but haivng little direct interaction with each
o Not a real group
Ex: PSYC 215!
- Some social psychological processes are unique to real groups
o However, some things will affect both
Group Behaviour
- The intelligence quotient of a group can be calculated by taking the intelligence quotient of the
group leader and dividing it by the number of people in the group
o Brother Bertley 1973 (African American man)
o Group as a whole is not a sophisticated thinking machine tend to behave simplistically
Group Think
- Can have situations where as number of people in group increases, sometimes the depth of analysis
or of cognitive processing that occurs seems to decrease
- Symptoms of GT
o Emphasis on agreeableness in the group. Leads individuals to fail to consider important
- Critiquing GT
- Preventing GT
o Pres. Kennedy used this in Soviet Missile crisis avoided his main people so as not to sway
- GT and group influence
- Highly cohesive groups: fear of rejection for deviant opinion
o Leads members to withhold info which may have lead to a better decision
- Group structure; directive leadership, no mechanisms for reviewing decisions
- Stressful situations; urgency overrules accuracy
- Quick to agree!
Normal Triplett - 1897
- Observer effects on performance
- Cyclists raced faster when observers were present
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Social Facilitation: when others arouse us
- How does presence of others affect our behaviour?
- Triplett‟s finishing reel studies
- Later research found conflicting findings
o Sometimes the presence of others enhanced performance
o Later, some suggested that performance could decline
- People are more likely to win games when playing at home
o Home Team Advantage fans in the stands
Max Ringelmann 1880-1913
- Collective performance associated with poorer individual performance
o Pulling rope with others you will try less because you are “depending” on them doing their
Social Loafing when others relax us
- Ringelmann individual output declines on pooled tasks
o Rowers in boat each individual effort is less than if they were by themselves
- Latane et al 1979
o Students were told to cheer or clap loudly
o Varied group size
o Measured sound pressure per person
o More people doing it with, less you invest in your performance
- When is social loafing less likely to occur?
o Six conditions
People believe that their own performances can be identified and thus evaluated, by
themselves or by others (less likely to see social loafing)
The task is important or meaningful to those performing it
Won‟t see loafing in Asian (Collectivist) societies because things are more
meaningful (in individualistic societies (like America), then have loafing)
People believe that their own efforts are necessary for a successful outcome
The group expects to be punished for poor performance
Increase the incentives
The group is small
The group is cohesive
o Has to do with proficiency of the task...
Have high level audience will help
Have low level compromises your performance
Why Does social facilitation occur?
- Zajonc‟s Mere Presence Theory
o Whatever dominant response is, social presence will enhance probability that THAT will
occur depends on your proficiency
o Just having other people around is sufficient for soc.facilitation to occur.
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