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PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

th PSYC 215 – April 10 , 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 other 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 aspects - Critiquing GT - Preventing GT o Pres. Kennedy used this in Soviet Missile crisis – avoided his main people so as not to sway them - 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 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 part 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.  Pooled performance can increase performance on a difficult task! Decreases arousal, we are tested and identified = social security - Evaluation Apprehension Theory o Someone must be in position to evaluate performance  Reason perform better when observed is there is because you believe they will make evaluative judgement on your behaviour. This apprehension leads to arousal. - Distraction-Conflict Theory
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