PSYCH253 Lecture Notes - Social Loafing, Deindividuation, Social Facilitation

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16 Oct 2011

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Week 7: Group Influence
- 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
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