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Intro To Soc Ch.10-13.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2720A/B
Patrick Brown

Chapter 10:Group dynamics, and intergroup relations Intro: -liberal party won 72 out of the 100 years one factor was the generally moderate position taken by the liberals on social and economic issues. A common stereotype of Canadians is they are middle-of-the road-liberals are in the center of the spectrum -group dynamics- the social psychological study of groups and group processes -group- two or more persons who are interacting with one another and or influencing one another highlights 2 key points: 1. Must be at least two people 2. The members of the group must be interacting with one another in some way or at least influencing one another individual performance and behaviour in group settings social facilitation: the effects of an audience: social facilitation: the effects of the presence of other people on individual performance which will usually be improved performance of simple tasks and impaired performance on complex tasks -presence of other people increase the probability of the dominant response- the ones that are more likely to occur when the person is alone these tendencies will be heightened by the presence of an audience Zajonc- proposed that the presence of other people will be physically arousing0 making you anxious about performaning well in front of others -physiological arousal restricts attention simple task- norrows attention causing them to focus on the actually improvement of the task, and in difficult tasks- the narrowed focus of attention makes it difficult for the individual to attend to all of the cues necessary for good performance -Experiment- presented with 2 digit numbers push one of two keys to respond- had to figure out to push one key when the number was higher than 68 and the other when it was lower- had to discover by trial and error- when allowed to practice they performed much better infront of an audience- when they didnt they performed significantly worse Social loafing: social loafing- the reduction of effort that people often exhibit when working in a group where individual contributions are unidentifiable -assumed to involve relaxation or reduced motivation -experiment- cheer as loudly as possible while blindfolded and wearing head phones. cheered the loudest when they thought they were alone cheered only 82% as intensely when they believed one other person was cheering, and only 74 % when 5 other people. -one necessary component for social loafing- anonymity- if performance is unidentifiable- social loafing occurs -people are less likely to loaf when the group is important of meaningful to them than when the group is unimportant -another factor that influences social loafing- cohesiveness or attractiveness of the group -social loafing is both intentional and unintentional Gender and cultural differences in social loafing: -men are more likely to exhibit social loafing than women- groups composed completely of women have shown no social loafing-they are more group oriented and concerned about collectivism men tend to be more individualistic. -social loafing is characteristic of individualist countries but not collectivist Deindividuation: immersion of a group deindividuation- a psychological state in which people lose their sense of personal identity and feel immersed in a group - it weakens peoples inhibitions against performing harmful or socially disapproved actions. It also heightens peoples responsiveness to external cues which may be either negative or positive. It may also increase peoples obedience to norms that emerge in a group (everyone else is being destructive- it becomes the norm) -it is hypothesized to release people from their normal ethical constraints - legal issue- is it an excuse for criminal actions when part of a large group -experiment- Halloween candy bowl with a sign that says take one, and a jar of change beside it- children were more likely to break the rules when they were anonymous rather than nonanonymous (asked their names and where they lived) and when they were in a group rather than alone -researchers suggested that deindividuation increases peoples responsiveness to external cues, such as noticeable features of setting, and these cues might sometimes be prosocial -experiment- wore either a KKK cloak (negative cue) or a nursing uniform (positive cue) in addition some wore name tags (not anonymous). Deindividuation led to more aggression in the KKK group but to less aggression in the nurse group Decision making in groups: -one of the most important functions fulfilled by groups is decision making groupthink: groupthink- (Janis)a way of thinking that can occur in decision making groups, when pressure to agree leads to biased appraisal of options and poor decisions -when individuals of a group are highly motivated to agree with the leader and with one another they do not express their reservation openly and do not criticize one another. Engage in self-censorship, everybody believes that everyone else in the group strongly supports the decision - hypothesized that groupthink is most likely to occur in certain kinds of groups : 1. Highly cohesive groups- the combined strength of all forces acting on members of the group to remain in the group- do not want to be ostracized or excluded from the group, which leads them to conform and to avoid criticizing other members ideas. 2. Directive leader- openly express their own opinions, often before any discussion has occurred- and control subsequent conversation in the group 3. High stress- stress makes members feel even more pressure to follow the leaders opinions and to avoid rocking the boat it intensives the cohesiveness and the directive leadership Symptoms of group think: all of these symptoms reflect group members desire to agree and maintain a positive group feeling- 8 symptoms: 1. Illusion of invulnerability- feel invincible 2.reationaliztion of warnings- warning signals discounted or rationalized as harmless, risky and low quality decision may occur 3. An unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of the group- fail to recognize that self-interest might be colouring its perspective may lead the group to ignore ethical aspects of its decisions selfish or corrupt decisions 4. Stereotyped view of enemy leaders- neg stereotype of outgroup leaders can contribute to the illusion of invulnerability 5. Pressure on group members who challenge the consensus- social pressure to conform 6. Self-censorship of misgivings, questions, and counterarguments- engage in self-censorship because the group wants agreement 7. An illusion of unanimity (agreement)- members of the group will often believe that everyone agrees with a tentative decision 8. Emergence of self-appointed mindguards- people who protect the mind of the leader by shielding him or her from criticism, doubt and so on -example of group think- may 2000 drinking water system in walkerton- became contaminated with deadly bacteria- by the time it was cleansed 2300 people had become ill- 7 died. Why: -koebels- were far too complacent about the water system unrealistic beliefs about it not being contaminated, believed they were invincible (1)- drank it themselves (prove they werent worried about it). Ignored warning signs(2) commission members simply accepted uncritically the mens assurance that the water was safe. (5) others lead to accept it (7) didnt realize their responsibility to the public for ethical reasons (3) avoiding group think- 3 recomendations: 1. The leader should be nondirective- allow others to express opinion before stating theirs 2. A norm of openness and candour (honesty) should be established in the group- make it clear discussion is desirable 3. People from outside the group should be included in the decision making process empirical test of groupthink predictions: highly cohesive groups discourage dissent and produce more confident decisions, but also that members of cohesive groups report less self-censorship (not consistent with Janis) -groups with directive leaders used less information and produced fewer possible solutions than did groups with nondirective leaders -more information is considered by a group when there is a norm of critical thinking rather than consensus seeking -individual differences- some people respond more positively to directive than nondirective leaders Group polarization: - no candidate was selected by all of the members but two candidates were named more often than the third -people who initially named this least preferred candidate might feel threatened by the minority status and argue forcefully in favour of the individual resulting in them being picked or- they may feel foolish or intimidated and keep their mouths shut resulting in them not being picked -what usually happens- at the end of discussion the two candidates who had initially be named the most were selected unanimously to receive the job offer- group polarization group polarization- the tendency for group discussion to strengthen the initial leanings of the members preferred after group discussion -experiment- after discussion- even more students recommended the coach try the risky defence and even more students recommend that the father should not buy the risky stocks -experiment- would groups show polarization of stereotypes? Results showed that participants who first dicussed their impressions with other participants reported stronger stereotypes- higher ratings of selfishness and violence0 than did participants who rated the group without engaging in any discussion- thus group polarization may contribute to intergroup hostility causes of group polarization: 2 1. People usually argue in favour of their own view on an issue- most arguments would be in favour of the predominant view, members are more likely to be persuaded in that direction 2. Peoples desire
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