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Lecture 6

PSYB10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Group Cohesiveness, Group Polarization, Cortisol

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

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Lecture 6
Types of Groups
Differentiating elements of Nonsocial vs. Social Groups
- group members should have the ability to interact with one another to be a
social group
- interaction
- interdependence is needed for a group to be a social group
o shared goals and space where you need and depend on one another
- can switch from a social group to a non-social group
o and vice versa
Social Groups
- groups have social norms to guide behavior
o a group’s perceptions for the behaviours, values, and beleifs of its
o ex. UC Berkeley’s “Naked Guy”
o group members are expected to conform to these norms
o members who deviate from norms are punished or rejected
ex. UC Berkeley’s “Naked Guy”, the University tried to expel
and change his behaviour
- groups have well defined social roles
o people tend to know what they’re supposed to be doing in the group
- vary in levels of group cohesiveness
Social roles
- a group’s expectations for the behavior and responsibilities of various
subgroups of its members
o ex. Gender roles in society
o prescriptions of behavior that people are supposed to fulfill
- potential costs:
o individual personality may be taken over by power of role
o violation of social roles meets with censure from other group
Group Cohesiveness
- the degree to which a group is or is perceived to be close knit and similar
- in the mind of group members
o cohesiveness promotes liking and in-group favoritism
- in the minds of outsiders:
o cohesiveness increases stereotyping of group members
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Social Facilitating and Social Loafing
- effects of groups on individual performance
- Created by an interaction of three factors:
o individual evaluation
o arousal
physiological arousal
o task complexity
how difficult or easy a task is
Social Facilitation
- tendency for performance to be:
o improved when doing well-learned or dominant behaviors in the
presence of others
o inhibited when doing less practiced 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
- evaluation apprehension
o concern about being judged/evaluated
- socio-evaluative threat
o extreme evaluation apprehension
o body responds with stress hormone, cortisol
o 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 hat ate more extreme than the initial
inclinations of their members
o can be a shift to either greater risk or greater caution
o has both informational and normative explanation
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