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Introduction to Group Dynamics (1).docx

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PSYC 3430
Peter Papadogiannis

Chapter 1: Introduction to Group Dynamics Group Dynamics: the actions, processes, and changes that occur within groups and between groups over time; and the scientific study of these processes What is a Group? Group: two or more individuals who are connected to one another by social relationships - Connected: Members are linked (networked) - Social, interpersonal connection (not categorical) Two or More Individuals… - Vary in sizes o Dyads: two people; only group that dissolves when one member leaves, and only group that can never be broken down into subgroups o Triads: three people o Large collectives: class, mobs - Average size of a group is 2-7 people (relatively small) Who are Connected… - Members of a group are networked together by “ties” - The larger the group, the more ties required to join the members to each other and to the group - Maximum number of ties, n(n-1)/2, this number doubles if the bonds are directed (reciprocal) By and Within Social Relationships… - People in a group are said to be linked by their “membership” - Relationships link the members to one another and to the group as a whole - They also define who is in the group itself, because groups unlike networks have boundaries Network: a set of interconnected individuals or groups; more generally, any set of social or nonsocial objects that are linked by relational ties Social Identity: aspects of the self-concept that derive from relationships/memberships in groups; aspects of the group are “internalized” to the self-concept Describing Groups - Billions of groups exist in the world, each group is unique in many ways, however many groups possess common properties Characteristics of Groups… 1. Interaction: is as varied as human behaviour itself - Robert F. Bales - Task Interaction: actions performed by group members that pertain to the group’s projects, tasks, and goals - Relationship Interaction: actions performed by group members that relate to or influence the emotional and interpersonal bonds within the group, including both positive actions (social support, consideration) and negative actions (criticism, conflict) 2. Goals: usually exist for a reason, strive towards some common outcome - McGrath’s Circumplex Model of Group Tasks o Generating: plans and ideas (planning/creativity tasks) o Choosing: making decisions about issues with correct answers (intellective) and no right answer (decision-making) o Negotiating: resolving conflicts (of viewpoint and of interest) o Executing: execute performance tasks, resolve conflicts of power 3. Interdependence: state of being dependent to some degree on other people, as when one’s outcomes, actions, thoughts, feelings, and experiences are determined by others - Types: o Unilateral: top down approach o Sequential: influence of one member to the next o Reciprocal: two or more members may influence each other – relationship might be unequal o Multilevel: the outcome of larger groups are influenced by the activities of smaller groups - As groups increase in size and complexity, they become more formal in structure 4. Structure: often organized in predictable patterns Roles: set of behaviours expected of people who occupy certain positions Norms: consensual (implicit) standard that describes what behaviours should and should not be performed in a given context 5. Unity: quality of “groupness” Group Cohesion: the strength of the bonds linking individuals to and in the group - Attraction to specific group members and efforts to achieve goals Entitavity: the extent to which an assemblage of individuals is perceived to be a group rather than an aggregating of independent, unrelated individuals; the quality of being an entity Campbell’s Theory of Entitavity: - Common Fate: do individuals experience the same outcomes? - Similarity: do individuals perform similar behaviours or resemble one another? - Proximity: how close together are the individuals in the group? Perception of Membership: the amount someone perceives themselves to be part, or included within a group; people are not part of a group unless they perceive themselves to be part of the group Types of Groups Social Group: a relatively small number of individuals who interact with one another over an extended period of time, such as work groups, clubs, and congregations Collective: a relatively large aggregation or group of individuals who display similarities in actions and outlook Category: an aggregation of people or things that share some common attribute or are related in some way Aggregate: a collection of individuals who are present in the same time and place but who do not form a unit Cooley… Primary Group: a small, long-term group, such as families and friendship cliques, charac
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