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Lecture 6

PSYB10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Order Of The Solar Temple, Totalitarianism, Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB10H3
Professor
Elizabeth Page- Gould
Lecture
6

Page:
of 4
PSYB10
Lecture 6 Group Processes
Groups
- Types of Groups
- Social Groups VS Non Social Groups
- Social Groups: involve social objects
- Interaction
- Interdependence
- Groups have social norms that guide behaviour.
- Groups also tend to have well defined social roles
- Groups can vary in levels of group cohesiveness (how much we view a group to be a solid group
rather than a diffuse set of individuals)
- Social Norms:
- A group’s prescriptions for the behaviour, values, and beliefs of its members.
- Group members are expected to conform to these norms
- Members who deviate from norms are punished or rejected
- Social Roles:
- A group’s expectations for the behaviour and responsibilities of various subgroups of its
members.
- Potential Costs:
- Individual personality may be taken over by power of role
- Violation of social roles meets with censure from other group members
- Group Cohesiveness
- The degree to which a group IS or IS PERCIEVED TO BE close knit and similar
- i.e sororities and fraternities
- In the minds of group members:
- Cohesiveness promotes liking and in group favouritism
- In the minds of outsiders:
- Cohesiveness increases stereotyping of group members
- How do groups affect us?
- 1. Social Facilitation and Social Loafing
- 2. Group Decision-making
- 3. Deindividuation
- 4. Bad groups: Destructive cults
1. Social Facilitation and Social Loafing
- Effects of groups on individual performance
- Created by an interaction of three factors:
- Individual Evaluation
- Arousal (physical arousal sweating, heart rate, etc.)
- Task complexity
- Social Facilitation:
- Tendency for performance to be:
- Improved when doing well learned or dominant behaviours in the presence of others.
- inhibited when doing less practised or difficult tasks in the presence of others.
- Social Loafing:
- Tendency for people to perform worse on simple tasks and better on complex tasks if they are in
a group and not being individually evaluated.
- People are NOT being individually evaluated!
- Evaluation
- Evaluation Apprehension:
- Concern about being judged/evaluated
- Socio-evaluative Threat:
- Extreme evaluative threat
- Body responds with the stress hormone, cortisol
- Cortisol constricts blood vessels in hippocampus, inhibiting memory and learning
Group Decision Making
- Group Polarization
- Group Think
- Jury Decision Making
Group Polarization
- Tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclinations of
their members.
- Can be a shift to either greater risk or greater caution
- Has both informational and normative explanations
Group Think
- “A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-
group, when the members' strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically
appraise alternative courses of action”
- Extreme form of Group Polarization
- Challenger Disaster
How to Prevent Group Think
- Apriori assign someone to play “Devil’s Advocate”
Everyone must know that this person was assigned this role
- Leader remains impartial
- Seek feedback from people outside the group
- Begin by creating subgroups which suggest ideas to the group as a whole
- Anonymous opinions from group members (e.g., ballots)
Jury Decision Making
- Group Decision Making and Juries
- Value of Unanimity
- 12 person versus 6 person juries
- Group Polarization and Group Think
- Across 200 jury trials, 97% of juries ended with the decision favoured by majority on the initial
vote
- Called “Predeliberation Errors”
- Cascade Effect
- Judgements of initial speakers shape successors, who do not disclose what they know or
think
Unanimous Decisions
- Requirement of Unanimity forces group to be extra cohesive
Group Think is amplified
- HOWEVER, lack of unanimity requirement increases rates of guilty verdicts
Just World Hypothesis applied to a defendent
Predeliberation errors are biased toward belief of defendant's guilt
Jury Composition
- How many people are ideal?
- 6-person vs. 12-person juries
6 person juries convict more often
12-person juries acquit or are “hung” more often
- 12-person juries are more likely to have a dissenter
Deindividuation
- The state in which a person loses the sense of him or herself as an individual.
- Occurs:
- In crowds
- When physically anonymous
- Group chanting or stomping
- Effects of Deindividuation
- Anonymity of online chat rooms
- Brandon Vegas, a 21 year old man went to online chatroom
- Took a fatal overdose while people online told him to do so