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Chapter 10 - Group Dynamics and Intergroup Relations

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Psychology 2070A/B

Chapter 10 - Group Dynamics and Intergroup Relations November-14-11 6:51 PM Group: two or more people who are influencing each other Not a great definition Collections of individuals become more "group like" when they: Interdependent - each of them can effect the other (or their outcomes are dependent on one another's actions) Share a common identity (example - motorcycle group) Have a group structure - becomes more meaningful (example - Royal Family Structure: what does this mean? 1. Members have different roles - if it structured different members do different things 1. Hierarchy - difference in well-established and structured groups, a difference in people's status (one is usually a leader) 1. Group cohesiveness exists - cohesiveness = pressures keeping the group TOGETHER - total sum of the pressures that are keeping people together in a group, and can come from a number of things: the need to belong, costs of leaving the group -- when a group has structure it becomes more group like * How do groups affect individual performance: Individuals behave and perform differently in group settings Social facilitation: individual tasks - working by yourself Presence of individuals improve individual performance on SIMPLE task, but impair individual performance on COMPLEX tasks WHAT IS COMMON?! Zajonc (1965) - the presence of others increases physiologist arousal: Innate tendency Evaluation apprehension (with humans - anxious about being judged by people who are watching) Competitive motivation *arousal from humans come from multiple sources* What happens is..... Physiological arousal increases the probability of the DOMINANT response Whatever the dominant response - most likely when the individual is ALONE When they have the presence of others this dominant response is liking to occur! On simple or well learned tasks - this response will usually be CORRECT On difficult or complex tasks - the dominant response will usually be WRONG --> the presence of other people can either IMPROVE or IMPAIR performance, depending on the task Simple and well learned generally people will do better with the presence of others Complex and hard task with the presence of other people will usually do worse, or impair their performance Zajonc proposed that this effect should occur in ALL SPECIES that are capable of recognizing conspecies (same species) The cockroaches were placed in a maze box Sometimes escape was possible by a straight line, and sometimes it was more complex (had to turn a couple of times) And sometimes the cockroaches were tested individually, and other times they were with the presence of 20 cockroaches Olfactory cues - they could SMELL that the cockroaches were in fact present They were faster when the runway was straight then when it was complex They were faster with the presence of others watching (significant difference) for the straight one BUT for the complex one - the presence of the audience made it much slower to get out of the maze *both improved and impaired depending on the complexity of the task and the presence of others*(see graph) Social loafing: group contribution People often reduce their efforts of a group task where their individual contributions are probably unidentifiable Example tug-of-war tasks (can measure how HARD each individual will pull - and then add up to see how hard they pull as a team --> they NEVER pull as hard with the team) Another example - car washing Sometimes social loafing is deliberate (I want to slack, off feeling lazy) Sometimes it is unintentional - they DO NOT REALIZE that they are loafing Text study - individuals were asked to shout as loud as they could - wearing headphones, sometimes they thought others were singing or shouting - with the presence of others they DID NOT shout as loud, they thought they did, but in fact their output was less when there were others * HOW CAN IT BE REDUCED?! Given that people MAY NOT EVEN be aware they are doing it 1. Make individual contributions identifiable (also reduces unintentional social loafing) 1. Make the task or group IMPORTANT - less likely to occur here E.g.: Shepperd, 2001 - participants wrapped bubblegum in a small group for 10 minutes - personal performance either identifable or not identifiable - destination of gum either not mentioned or to be sent to soldiers overseas Either identifiable OR NOT identifiable Destination was either not mentioned or was important Making a task more important reduces social loafing Social loafing is MOST likely to occur if it either unclear or not important
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