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PSYCH 253 (142)

Performance in Groups

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University of Waterloo
Hilary B Bergsieker

Performance in Groups Performance - Social facilitation o Tendency to do better on simple tasks and worse on complex tasks in presence of others when our individual performance can be evaluated o Presence of others boosts physiological arousal o Arousal facilitates dominant response:  Simple task – perform well  Difficult task – perform poorly - Others’ Presence: “Alternative” Ideas: o Distraction-conflict theory  People are distracting; distractions causes arousal  Others increase distraction o Evaluation apprehension theory  Performance changes only if others can evaluate us  Word recognition study  Alone: baseline performance  With 2 other Ps (possible evaluation): better perform.  With 2 blindfolded Ps (no evaluation): same as baseline - Social loafing o Tendency to do worst on simple tasks but better on complex tasks in presence of others if our individual performance cannot be evaluated Group Processes - Group polarization o Making decisions in groups that are more extreme that group members’ initial inclinations o Persuasive arguments explanation  Other members often have similar attitudes  Hear supporting arguments we haven’t yet considered o Social comparison explanation  We want to fit in with others in group  Sense group’s position and adjust our own attitude even further in that direction to appear “good” to group - Group Polarization: Racial Attitudes o High School students – sorted into groups: low, medium, high prejudice o Racial attitudes measured  Racial issues/topics discussed – low prejudice people were more “pro-black” where high prejudice become more prejudice  Control (neutral) topics – o DV: change in attitudes - Group Performance Processes - Gains: Transaction memory o Aspects of group interaction that facilitates goo
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