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Chapter 7- Group Influence Lecture notes for chapter 7

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University of Waterloo
Emiko Yoshida

Week 7: Group Influence Overview: - Social facilitation & social loafing - De-individuation - Group polarization - Group think Social Facilitation - Work alone versus working with others present - Contradiction? - Being around other people is physiologically arousing - Dominant responses o Improves performance on well-learned easy task o Hinders performance on un-mastered complex tasks o E.g., good tennis player perform better when watched –already mastered skills  Less talented player gets worse –still acquiring skills - Others present  arousal  strengthens dominant responses  Enhancing easy tasks  Impairing difficult tasks Crowding: The Presence of Many Others - The presence of others tends to cause arousal o Perspire (sweat) o Higher blood pressure - Intensify positive of negative emotions o E.g., funny TV shows  Funnier when watching with others than when watching alone o E.g., Video clip: Seinfeld –Elaine on subway  Felt very uncomfortable being crowded by so many people  Felt happy when train was finally moving again Social Loafing - Decrease personal efforts as groups now larger - A common goal - Collective effort o Individuals are not accountable - Not intentional Study: Tug-of-War Task; Ingham, 1974 - Participants were blindfolded and pulling alone - Some were told they were pulling alone, and others were told there were people pulling behind them as well - Found that participants pulled 18% harder when they knew they were pulling alone than when they thought they were pulling with others Social Loafing in Everyday Life - Household chores - Push a car in the snow 1 How Can You Reduce Social Loafing - Individual evaluation o E.g., evaluate individual football player’s performance - Incentives, personally meaningful tasks o E.g., fundraising for cancer research - Work with friends rather than strangers o E.g., increase group identity - Collective interpersonal orientation o E.g., women, people from east Asian cultures De-individuation - Relax inhibitions because of the power of a group - Diffusion of responsibility - Lose a sense of individuality o E.g., group vandalism - Class survey –invisible for 24 hours o Altruistic behaviour –do nice things o Relationships –spy on people o Academics –see upcoming exams o De-individuation –steal money or car, pranks Conditions that Elicit De-Individuation - Group size o In a large crowd, people don’t feel responsible o “Everybody is doing it” - Physical anonymity o E.g., Cyber interaction o E-mail Study: Halloween; Diener, 1976 - Children who came trick-or-treating for Halloween - Some children were told “you can only take one candy” - Anonymity –half of the children were asked for their name and address - Children went in a group versus alone - Transgression
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