CHAPTER 9: GROUP PROCESSES
Some central elements in conceptualisation of a group:
Face-to-face (or some form of) interaction
BASIC GROUP PROCESSES
There is nothing more to a group than the people who comprise it.
There is something more to a group than just the people who comprise
it. Groups have qualities that individuals don‟t have.
Norms= Norms are ways of specifying that are acceptable (or unacceptable)
attitudes and behaviours of group members.
Functions of norms:
For individuals: norms are frame of reference to interpret the world,
provided predictability and useful in novel situations.
For group: norms serve as social regulation that helps the group runs
smoothly and enhance group identity.
Central norms: we don‟t want people to violate them. The margin for
deviation from central norms is small but general norms it is larger.
Levine & Moreland- 3 processes of group socialization: 1. Evaluation 2.
Commitment 3. Role Transition.
Group socialization have some assumptions:
Group exists over time and individuals move into or out of groups.
Groups and individuals exert reciprocal influence over each other.
Levine & Moreland- Group socialization has 5 stages of group membership,
separated by 4 transitions.
Recruitment - identify the correct (new) members. Evaluate potential
members. Talk potential members to join the group.
Role transition 1: Entry > beginning to welcome people into the group. 2. Socialization:
The new member tries to influence the group so it satisfies his or her
personal needs. While the group tries to influence the new member so
he or she contributes more to the group.
Role Transition 2: Acceptance > being a full member allows group to
During this there is a considerable negotiation between the member
and the group for finding the best role for the person. The aim is to
satisfy the personal needs of the member and the goals of the group.
Makes role seem attractive. Make them work hard but highlight
Role Transition 3: Divergence.
After divergent the person tries to accommodate him or herself in the
group and the group tries to assimilate the person.
Internal vs. External attribution – factors for behaviour are very
important (i.e. naturally bad attitude vs. dealing with divorce).
Status of the person – high status people are harder to replace than
low status people as a lot of people rely on them.
Role Transition 4: Exit > (i.e. graduation is associated with a ceremony
as you are not leaving prematurely). Sometimes people leave
prematurely so this is not celebrated. For gangs the exit ceremony is
focused on killing them.
Retrospective evaluation happens from both the person and the group.
HOW DO GROUPD INFLUENCE BEHAVIOUR?
Intragroup processes= processes that happen within a group
Intergroup processes= processes that occur between groups of people
Turner- groups exist when two or more individuals perceive themselves to be
members of the same social category.
Brown- a group exists when two or more people define themselves as
members of it and when its existence is recognised by at least one other >
this definition has the advantage of referring to a group in relation to other
groups rather than just as a system on its own.
Lyn & Latane- single people were most generous with tips and parties with
more or more were the least.
Social facilitation= when people do better on a task in the presence of others
than when they‟re alone > mere presence of people increases our
physiological arousal. Social Inhibition= when people do worse on a task in the presence of others
than when they‟re alone. For example, when presented with a difficult task
they work it out more slowly in front of others than on their own.
High arousal leads to better performance on tasks that are simple or well
learned and poorer performance on tasks that are difficult or less familiar.
3 explanations for social facilitation:
1. Mere Presence: the mere presence of other people is energizing. Zajonc-
cockroach study: one condition cockroaches were alone in maze, second
condition: observed by other cockroaches > performed simple maze faster in
presnse of others but opposite for complex maze.
2. Evaluation Apprehension: peoples concern about being evaluated by an
audience. Cottrell- participants were more accurate in the audience condition
than in either the alone or mere presence condition > the presence of an
evaluating audience is a stronger influence on performance. Butler &
Beumeister- students took a maths test whilst friend or stranger watched >
made more errors and took longer to complete it when friend was there.
3. Distraction: Even when people aren‟t evaluating our performance it
decreases our ability to focus on a task. Doesn‟t affect easy tasks. Chen-
teenager drivers who are more likely to find driving more difficult than more
experienced older drivers show more crashes when driving with passengers
than alone. Markus- difficult or easy task > took less time for them to complete
easy task when audience was present but more time when had to complete
difficult task. Guerin- reviewed studies and concluded that the mere presence
of others produces the social facilitation/inhibition effects only when presence
of others produces some sense of uncertainty in participant.
Social Loafing= a group-produced reduction in individual output on easy tasks
where contributions are pooled.
Latane- asked to clap and cheer > each student made most noise when alone
and least in group of 6.
Collective Effect Model= a model which describes people‟s motivation to exert
effort in group tasks as depending on whether they believe their distinct efforts
will be identifiable, their efforts will make a difference in the group‟s success,
and they will experience positive outcomes.
Identifiable Contributions: Whether people believe that their own contributions
will be recognized. People don‟t socially loaf when their outputs will be
evaluated especially if they are going to be compared to others outputs.
Contributions‟ Impact: Whether you believe your efforts will have an impact on
group‟s performance. Those who believe their efforts aren‟t necessary for
group success display less effort.
Task Importance: People are motivated if task is highly important to them.
Social compensation= the notion that if a project is important to you, you may work even harder to compensate for the poor performance or social loafing of
others. Plaks & Higgins- University students told they would work with partner
on math or verbal test (either a male or female) > worked harder on group
task when they had low expectations about partners‟ competence.
The morale, team spirit and solidarity of members of the group.
Essential characteristic that transforms a collection of individual people into
members of a group.
Mael & Alderks- Squad members who perceived their platoon as more
cohesive showed greater job involvement, higher motivation to perform well,
stronger intent to continue career and greater confidence and effectiveness.
Cohesion was also associated with higher ratings of performance.
HOW DO INTRAGROUP PROCESSES INFLUENCE DECISION-MAKING?
Group Polarization= when the initial tendencies of group members become
more extreme following group discussion.
Risky shift= a process by which groups tend to make riskier decisions than
individuals would make alone.
Hear More Persuasive Arguments:
During discussions group members hear persuasive arguments that
support their own views, including points they hadn‟t considered, which