Lecture 6 – Group Processes
- Types of Groups
- Social Groups VS Non Social Groups
- Social Groups: involve social objects
- Groups have social norms that guide behaviour.
- Groups also tend to have well defined social roles
- Groups can vary in levels of group cohesiveness (how much we view a group to be a solid group
rather than a diffuse set of individuals)
- Social Norms:
- A group’s prescriptions for the behaviour, values, and beliefs of its members.
- Group members are expected to conform to these norms
- Members who deviate from norms are punished or rejected
- Social Roles:
- A group’s expectations for the behaviour and responsibilities of various subgroups of its
- Potential Costs:
- Individual personality may be taken over by power of role
- Violation of social roles meets with censure from other group members
- Group Cohesiveness
- The degree to which a group IS or IS PERCIEVED TO BE close knit and similar
- i.e sororities and fraternities
- In the minds of group members:
- Cohesiveness promotes liking and in group favouritism
- In the minds of outsiders:
- Cohesiveness increases stereotyping of group members
- How do groups affect us?
- 1. Social Facilitation and Social Loaﬁng
- 2. Group Decision-making
- 3. Deindividuation
- 4. Bad groups: Destructive cults
1. Social Facilitation and Social Loafing
- Effects of groups on individual performance
- Created by an interaction of three factors:
- Individual Evaluation
- Arousal (physical arousal – sweating, heart rate, etc.) - Task complexity
- Social Facilitation:
- Tendency for performance to be:
- Improved when doing well learned or dominant behaviours in the presence of others.
- inhibited when doing less practised 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.
- People are NOT being individually evaluated!
- Evaluation Apprehension:
- Concern about being judged/evaluated
- Socio-evaluative Threat:
- Extreme evaluative threat
- 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
- Tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclinations of
- Can be a shift to either greater risk or greater caution
- Has both informational and normative explanations
- “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