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Western University
Psychology 2990A/B

Psych 2990 Lecture Feb 11 Psychology Applied to Sports Ch 4: Sport Psychology Interventions Todays Lecture: Behavior in Groups Prologue: what is a group? 3 definitions (types of groups) 1. 2 or more people in the same place at the same time (e.g, strangers waiting for a bus). No interaction or communication. An aggregate or collective (a non-social group) 2. Two or more people who influence each other (not much interaction or communication). A "minimal group" (e.g, people doing "the wave" at a baseball game, standing for the national anthem) 3. A "social group": two or more people who influence each other through social interaction. They interact, communicate, make decisions, have shared goals. Part 1: Social Facilitation: How are we influenced by the mere presence of others? A. Norman Triplett (1898) - Cyclists who competed with each other were faster than cyclists who competed alone - The presence of others facilitates performance? - Triplett conducted the first experiment in social psychology ever; brought kids into a room, wound string on a fishing reel as fast as they could did this alone or in the presence of another kid (also winding string on the fishing reel), kids weren’t communicating. He found that just like with the cyclists, children wound string faster when in the presence of other kids winding string. Triplett speculated that the presence of other releases additional nrg ("dynamogism") and this extra nrg facilitates performance B. Establishing the generality of the facilitation effect. Occurs with: - "Coactors" (who perform the same task) - Others who are merely present (an audience) - Other physical tasks (e.g, lifting weights, shooting pool) AND - Cognitive tasks (simple math problems, learning word associations, naming colours) - People even write their signatures faster when others are present - BUT, sometimes the presence of others inhibits performance (class presentations) C. Zajonc (name rhymes with science..) (1965) and the Yerkes-Dodson Law - Physiological response arousal facilitates the dominant response (dominant= response that’s most likely to occur) - On easy tasks, dominant response is correct, physiological arousal should facilitate performance - On difficult tasks, dominant response is incorrect, and arousal should inhibit performance - The presence of others is a source of arousal: should facilitate performance on easy tasks and inhibit performance on difficult tasks  The social facilitation effect A research example: Pool players (% of shots) Experience pool players who could make about 70% when alone, could make about 80% when an audience was present Novice players who could make about 36% when alone could only make about 25% when an audience was present A review of 241 studies involving almost 24 000 participants: social facilitation effect is real D. Why is the presence of others arousing? 1. Evaluation apprehension (others make us anxious because they might be evaluating us) - If they're blindfolded (can't evaluate us), social facilitation is less likely 2. Others are distracting (creates arousal), why? - We experience "attentional conflict" (focus on audience or task?  arousal) - Non-social stimuli (loud noises, flashing lights) show the same effect as presence of others. There's nothing uniquely social about social facilitation! 3. (Zajonc) The mere presence of others makes us more alert or vigilant, because they might do something that we have to respond to. This alertness produces arousal (which facilitates dominant response) - The cockroach study. Cockroaches don’t like light. Some cockroaches were exposed to an easy maze (straight line from light to dark place), took about 40 seconds. Other cockroaches were put in a difficult maze, 3 options away form the light and one is right, took about 110 seconds. Zajonc then introduced an audience, audience boxes containing other cockroaches. The presence of an audience facilitated performance in easy maze (ran faster- 30 seconds), the audience inhibited performance in difficult maze (110 seconds - 130 seconds). This has been demonstrated with fish, chickens, rats, parakeets, centipedes, ants, and variety of animals. - Unlikely that these cockroaches were worried about being evaluated by their peers or worried about where to focus their attention. Concluded it’s the mere presence of others and the alertness they cause. - When it comes to people its probably a combo of all 3 - Social facilitation occurs when a single person is totally responsible for achieving the particular goal - other people are other coactors or passive audience - Group members work together to achieve shared goal - very different situation - no single individual is responsible for achieving goal - pool efforts - sets the stage for social loafing Part 2: Social Loafing Additive tasks: the group's achievement depends on sum of in
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