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Lecture 5

PSYB10 Lecture 5 Summary

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

GROUP PROCESSES (CHAPTER 8) - Groups o Social groups  There is some form of interaction and interdependence, in the sense that you influence them and they influence you  Have social norms to guide behaviour and processing  Have well-defined social roles to help the group function  Vary in level of group cohesiveness  There are two reasons for the homogeneity of groups  Many groups attract people who are already similar before they join  Groups operate in ways that encourage similarity in the members  Social norms  A group’s prescriptions for the behaviour, values and beliefs of its members o Specify how all group members should behave  The explicit or implicit rules defining what is acceptable behaviour  Group members are expected to conform to these norms  Members who deviate are punished or rejected  Only the norms of your current group matters  Social roles  A group’s expectations for the behaviour and responsibilities of various subgroups of its members o Specify how people who occupy certain positions in the group should behave  People know what to expect from each other o E.g., a boss and a employee  Potential costs: o Individual personality may be taken over by the power of the role  Nonetheless, there is still room for individual personality but it is hard o Violation of social roles meets with censure from other group members  The Stanford prison experiment o He believed social roles can be so powerful that they can take over personal identities o To see whether the participants began to act like real prison guards or prisoners o You are randomly assigned to play the role of either a prison guard or a prisoner o Everyone knows it is only an experiment o The students quickly assumed the roles  Many of the guards became abusive  The prisoners became passive, helpless, and withdrawn  Group cohesiveness  The degree to which a group is or is perceived to be close knit and similar o The qualities of a group that bind members together and promote liking among them  The effect of social groups (and group processes) are stronger or weaker based on cohesiveness In the minds of group members: o Cohesiveness promotes liking and in-group favouritism  In the minds of outsiders: o Cohesiveness increases stereotyping of group members - How do groups affect individual behaviour or individual performance? o The presence of others can mean one of two things  Performing a task with others who are doing the same thing you are  Performing a task in front of an audience that is not doing anything but observing you o Social facilitation  Tendency for people to perform better on simple tasks, but worse on complex tasks, when their individual performance can be evaluated  Improved when doing well-learned or dominant tasks in the presence of others o E.g., writing an exam  Inhibited when doing less practiced or difficult tasks in the presence of others o E.g., learning new material o Social loafing  Tendency for people to perform worse on simple tasks, but better on complex tasks, when their individual performance cannot be evaluated  Worse on simple tasks o E.g., pulling a rope o E.g., non-anonymous electronic or in-person group discussions  Better on complex tasks o E.g., anonymous electronic group discussions o Created by three factors:  Social facilitation = evaluation = arousal = enhanced simple tasks + impaired complex tasks  Social loafing = no evaluation = relaxation = impaired simple tasks + enhanced complex tasks  Evaluation  Evaluation apprehension o Concern about being judged/evaluated  Socio-evaluative threat o Extreme evaluation apprehension can extremely impede your ability to do complex tasks o An extreme form of evaluation apprehension  Body releases cortisol stress hormone  Cortisol constricts blood vessels in hippocampus  inhibits memory and learning  Arousal  The presence of others causes arousal  There is more than one reason that the presence of other people is arousing o Cause us to become alert  People are not predictable and causes mild arousal o Make us apprehensive about how we are being evaluated  Evaluation apprehension causes mild arousal o Distract us from the task at hand  Trying to pay attention to two things at once produces arousal  Relaxation  Being with other people means we can merge into a group  Becoming less noticeable than when we are alone  Task Complexity  A task can be simple or complex Enhanced performance on Evaluation simple tasks apprehension Arousal (social facilitation) Impaired performance on complex tasks Presence of others Impaired performance on No evaluation simple tasks apprehension Relaxation (social loafing) Enhanged performance on complex tasks - Group decision making o Group polarization  The 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 (more conservative)  Has both informational and normative explanations o Groupthink (many heads, one mi
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