Chapter 8- Group Processes

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Published on 7 Aug 2010
Chapter 8
Group Processes
- a collection of two or more people who interact with each other and are
interdependent, in the sense that their needs and goals cause them to
rely on each other.
- Groups can include school teams, family, campus groups, community
groups, temporary groups (classmates in a school project) etc.
- Group membership also plays an important role in motivating people to
become involved in social change.
- A group cannot be known as a group if it involved many people. For
example! a college or university you attend is not a social group,
because you are unlikely to meet and interact with every student there.
- Another important feature of groups is that the members tend to be
alike in age, sex, beliefs, and opinions.
Social roles
- shared expectations by group members about how particular people in
the group are suppose to behave.
- Ex! a boss and an employee in a company occupy different roles and
are expected to act in different ways in that setting.
- People ca get so into a role that their personal identity and personality
is lost. Example! participants either were the prison or the guard for
two weeks. Wanted to see whether they began to act like real
prisoners or guards. They wanted to see if they actually become that
role they were playing.
- Gender roles are also involved when it comes to social roles. Women
are seen to become a house wife and a mother, whereas men are
seen to pursue a career and bring in the income.
Group Cohesiveness
- How tightly knit the group is
- Qualities of a group that bind members together and promote liking
among them.
- Would you rather spend your free time with people who you dont really
care about for each other ot with a tightly knit bunch of people who feel
commiited to each other. Example, you find a bunch of friends who like
to go watch movies.
Social Facilitation
- when the presence of others affects/energizes us
- the tendency for people to do better on simple tasts, but worse on
complex tasks, when they are in the presence of other and their
individual performance can be evaluated.
- the presence of others can mean one of two things:
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1) Performing a task with other who are doing the same thing you are
2) Performing a task in front of an audience that is not doing anything
except observing you.
- if you know that a task is simple or difficult for you, it will affect your
performance. If there is a task that you know how to do (ex. Playing
pool) then performance should be improved with the presence of
others. If however you do not know how to play pool, and you find it as
a difficult task, then your performance will be in habited in the presence
of others. If you know how to play pool and you feel comfortable
playing it, then the arousal caused by the presence of other should
improve your game.
- When an individual is around other people, that individual does better
on tasks that are simple and well learned, but worse on tasks that are
complex and require them to learn something new ( learning a new
Three reasons for causes of arousal when in presence of others:
1) Other people cause us to become particularly alert and vigilant
2) They make us apprehensive about how were being evaluated ( if you
do poorly then you will feel embarrassed but pleased if you do well)
3) They distract us from the task at hand so we tend to lose focus and
- Arousal enhances performance on simple tasks but impairs performance on
complex tasks.
Social Loafing
- The tendency for people to do worse on simple tasks, but better on
complex tasks, when they are in the presence of other and their
individual performance CANNOT be evaluated.
- When the presence of others relaxes us
- Merging into a group and becoming less noticeable than when we are
alone, we should become more relaxed.
- Social loafing in groups occur in a variety of simple tasks such as
clapping your hands, cheering loudly, and playing tug of war (you exert
less effort when you are with others rather than if you were pulling the
rope on your own).
- Social loafing occurs more in men than in women. This is so because
women tend to be higher than men in relational interdependence
(tendency to focus on and care about personal relationships with
- You need to know two things to predict whether the presence of other
will help or hinder you performance: whether your individual efforts can
be evaluated/noticed and whether the task is simple or complex.
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