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PSYC 3430 Lecture Notes - Morale, Structural Cohesion, Hazing

Course Code
PSYC 3430
Peter Papadogiannis

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Chapter 5 – Cohesion and Development
- Cohesion can claim to be group dynamic’s most theoretically important concept
oWithout at least some degree of cohesion a group would disintegrate
oThe health of the group
Components of Cohesion
- Cohesive groups are unified and morale is high
- Members enjoy interacting with one another and they remain in the group for prolonged
periods of time
-Cohesion is a multi-component/multi-level process with a variety of indicators
- Four interrelated processes:
Social relations
Task relations
Perceived unity
Social Cohesion
oLewin described cohesion as early as 1943 as:
The forces that keep groups intact by pushing members together as well
as the countering forces that push them apart
oLewin and Festinger focused on one force more than all the others:
Asked group members to identify all their good friends and calculated the
ration of ingroup choices to outgroup choices
The greater the ratio, the greater was the cohesiveness of the
oWhen cohesion is based on individual level attraction and those who are liked
leave the group, the remaining members are more likely to quit.
oWhen cohesion is based on group level attraction, people remain members even
when specific members leave the group.
oSocial Attraction – a liking for other group members that is based on their status
as typical group members.
Unlike personal attraction which is based on relationships between
specific members
Social attraction is depersonalized since it is based on admiration for
individuals who possess the kinds of qualities that typify the group
Task Cohesion
oMany theorists believe that cohesion has more to do with members’ willingness
to work together to accomplish their objectives, than it does with positive
interpersonal relations
oTeamwork the combined activities of two or more individuals who coordinate
their efforts to make or do something. In many cases, each individual performs a
portion of the task, which when combined with others’ work, yields a total group

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oMilitary squads or flight crews are unified by shared drive to accomplish goals
oCollective efficacy the belief, shared among a substantial portion of the
group members that the group is capable of organizing and executing the actions
required to attain the group’s goals and successfully complete its tasks.
A group whose cohesiveness is generated by a shared task focus
tends to be high in collective efficacy
o“We are fast on the ice”
o“We can block effectively”
Perceived Cohesion
The extent to which an assemblage of individuals is perceived to be a
group rather than an aggregation of independent, unrelated individuals.
oGroup members often reveal their perception of their group’s unity in the words
that they use to agree that there is “a feeling of unity and cohesion in this group.”
Emotional Cohesion
oAs the positive and elevated mood of one person is picked up by the next, the
group members eventually display a shared emotional experience
oTerms used to describe group level emotional states include:
Élan the emotional intensity
Esprit de corps (Positive affective tone)
oA feeling of unity, commitment, confidence and enthusiasm
for the group shared by most or all of the members
oHelping team-mates, protecting the organization, making
constructive suggestions
Antecedents of Cohesion
Social Cohesion degree of attraction among members
Task Cohesion the degree to which group members coordinate their efforts to
achieve goals
Perceived Cohesion sense of belonging and unity in group
Emotional Cohesion the intensity of the members’ communal emotions
Some of the factors that set the stage for the emergence of cohesion in groups:
Interpersonal Attraction
oWhen individuals develop feelings of attraction for one another, they can turn a
rudimentary group into a highly cohesive one
Proximity, frequency of interaction, similarity, complementarity,
reciprocity, rewarding exchanges
SHERIF boys summer camp experiment
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