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 we’re 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
- 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.