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Lecture 2

PSYC 3430 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Kurt Lewin, Gustave Le Bon, Group Dynamics

Course Code
PSYC 3430
Peter K Papadogiannis

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KINE 3430 F
September 24th
Lecture 2, Group Dynamics
Group dynamics !
field dedicated to advancing knowledge about the nature of groups (Cartwright & Zander
definition) !
the influential actions, processes, and changes that occur between and within groups !
It is much easier to measure how someone feels, versus measuring the bonds that link
individuals together, or the connections between people. Measuring cohesion is very dicult !
Started in the late 1800’s, Norman Triplett was the one who started the field really !
the field slowed down because it was too complex, and there was no easy way to study
groups !
The military gets a lot of money, and spends a lot of it on groups and leadership in groups !
Norman Triplett (late 1800’s) recorded all the cyclists going from point A to point B. He would
have 2 cyclists together or against each other. What he found was that in either case they did
better !
this was called social facilitation, and its when working with people shows that you do better !
On tasks that people are familiar with people perform better together !
On tasks that are dicult and complex people do worse in the presence of others !
The general consensus is that working with people aects groups, whether up or down
depends on the task you are doing. !
Gustave Le Bon did research on the impact of groups on the decisions individuals make. The
presence of others and their energy would influence how people make decisions !
he would observe that a protest in France would go from being civil to unruly happened very
quickly, based on what the people there were doing !
Kurt Lewin was the first to create a research centre on group dynamics. In the early 1900’s
there were only a few schools with centres in group dynamics. !
He was interested in theory, asking the right questions, looking at outcomes!
Lewin is very well known for Field Theory: when behaviour is examined as a function of the
person and the environment. B=f(P,E). !
Kurt Lewin also made Action Research: he integrated theory and applied research to share
experimental method guidelines !
he was all about the applied, wanted to not just answer questions, but see how he would
apply it in real life. !
Inputs for the action research would be the theories. !
action: we will put together a structure to research it !
output: results of the research study. After that you have to figure out where you’re going to
put the results. It’s feedback. What will you do with your results once you have them !
With pain, we often talk about its individual parts. In the textbook Peter read, it had a social
aspect to pain too. People with concussions wish they had a cast on their head, so that they
wouldn’t be judged by people since no one knows they’re sick. It’s not just about the physical
pain that an individual has, its about the social aspects that they face too !
Us outside of this class. The professor sees us dierently, and we see him dierently. We are
not the same outside of the class. The environment makes a big dierence !
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KINE 3430 F
September 24th
Multi level perspective for field of group dynamics !
when researching groups, there are dierent levels of analysis to think about !
3 levels of broad levels of analysis !
micro: when you look at qualities, attributes and skills of individuals separately. !
meso: you look at small groups, usually not more than 10 people. Group cohesion is a
meso level analysis, you can use it on something like sports teams !
macro: larger groups, something like communities and societies !
There are times when you might want to look at all of them !
Floyd Allport!
believed in the micro level of analysis than the group level. He didn’t see meso and macro
level as being useful. He believed that families impacted the individual, but you can’t look at
the family together. The group might influence the individual, but the individual thinks on his
own. He doesn’t have to go with the group. So groups existed, but group level constructs
didn’t !
We will focus more on micro and meso analysis !
Chapter 2 (starting with pages 41 and 42)
need for objectivity !
researchers are only as good as the research they provide !
as part of research methods, we must have reliable and valid research methods and tests !
Assessment & measurement !
anything that exists, exists in some quantity !
we can say one group is more cohesive than the other !
Reliability !
associated with consistency. Its the degree to which a test score is consistent over repeated
measures !
internal consistency: the connection within an instrument test or assessment. So within a
test, all of the items are connected some way; they are consistent and measuring very similar
things. It measures the intercorrelation among the items. If there is a 10 item scale, it will look
at the connection between all the items !
Test-retest reliability!
involves calculating the correlation coecient between scores of a test given multiple times
to see how correlated the tests are !
Inter rater reliability !
having the same test being given by more than one individual. You would expect each person
to administer the test in a very similar way !
A source of error that aects consistency and reliability is the testers themselves !
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