Lecture 6-Group processes
Diffrentiating elements of nonsocial vs social groups:
Groups have social norms to guide behavior
Groups have well defined social roles
Vary in level of group cohesiveness
A group’s prescriptions for the behavior, values, and beliefs of its members
Group members are expected to conform to these norms
Members who deviate from norms are punished or rejected
A groups’ expectations for the behavior and responsibilities of various subgroups of its
Individual personality may be taken over by power of role
Violation of social roles meet with censure from other members
The degree to which a group IS or is perceived to be close knit and similar
In the minds of group members:
Cohesiveness promotes liking and in-group favoritism (if meet someone of the group
and the group is cohesiveness, more liking and favoritism.)
In the minds of outsiders:
Cohesiveness increases stereotyping of group members. (sorority/fraternity,
stereotyping a group more because they are perceived to be more similar)
Stanford Prison Experiment
How do groups affect us
Social facilitation and social loafing(created by an interaction of individual evaluation,
arousal and task complexity)
Social facilitation: performance improve when doing well learned or dominant
behaviors in the presence of others, inhibited when doing less practiced or difficult tasks
in the presence of others.
Social loafing: tendency for ppl to perform worse on simple tasks and better on complex
tasks if they are in a group and not being individually evaluated.
Evaluation apprehension: concern about being judged/evaluated
Socio evaluative threat:extreme evaluation apprehension 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 more extreme decisions than the
initial inclinations of their members, either greater risk or caution, has both
informational and normative explanations, either we value the info and perspectives or
just want to have an easy time.
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
Challenger Disaster：it exploded in the air, everyone’ watching, NASA: a launch should
be cancelled if there’s any doubt, despite of engineers’ concerns, concerns about O rings
because they might be too brittle for the low temperature, below 12C, concerns are
suppressed because it is highly publicized, dismissed the concerns
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
Jury Decision Making
Group decision making and juries
Value of unanimity
12 person versus 6 person juries Predeliberation Errors: juries ended with the decision favoured by majority on the initial
Cascade Effect: Judgements of initial speakers shape successors, who do not disclose
what they know or think.
Requirement of unanimity forces group to be extra cohesive
Group think is amplified
Lack of unanimity requirement increases rates of guilty verdicts
Just World Hypothesis applied to a defendant
Predeliberation errors are biased toward belief of defendant’s guilt
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
Bad groups: destructive cults 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.
A social group centered around devotion to a person/idea/thing that employs unethical
techniques of manipulation or control.
Order of the solar temple
Members are high status members of Quebecois, Swiss and French society.
Recruit from clubs
Beliefs: Mixtures of Christian and New Age ideas. Leaders, faithful group members
would get eternal life(burn by fire).
Collected 93 million from followers,
Investigators began into organization finances and a few group members began to leave.
1. Charismatic leaders
2. Leaders are self appointed
3. The leader is the focus of veneration
4. Group culture tends toward totalitarianism
5. Group usually has 2 or more sets of ethics
6. Group presents itself as innovative and exclusive
7. Main goals: Recruitment and fundraising
Who should lead?
Anyone, Great Person Theory
Effective leadership uncorrelated with personality
One trait stands out:
Integrative complexity: the ability to simultaneously hold, consider, integrate perspectives on
Who does lead?
Socially skilled, charismatic
Driven by power
Adaptive and flexible
Confident in their leadership abilities
Trait dominance Lecture 7-Emotion and Morality
Emotion: a brief physiological and psychological response to an event that is felt
subjectively and prepares a person for action.
Classes of emotions
6 Basic emotions
Fear, anger, disgust, sadness, happiness, surprise