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Introduction to Group Dynamics.docx

6 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 3430
Peter Papadogiannis

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Introduction to Group Dynamics Chapter 1 Overview  What is a group?  What are some common characteristics & descriptors of groups?  Group Dynamics: What assumptions guide researchers in their studies of groups and the processes within groups?  What fields and what topics are included in the scientific study of group dynamics? • Definition:  Two or more individuals who are connected to one another by social relationships.  Size: dyads and triads to large collectives (this class, mobs, audiences)  Connected: members are linked, networked  Social, interpersonal connection: not categorical  Billions of groups in the world – most groups tend to be relatively small (ranging from 2 to 7 members)  Our first experiences is a group experience  No two groups are the same – but groups do possess common characteristics  Groups are beneficial, but are also flawed  Not all group experiences are positive  Categories – a collection of people or things that share a common attribute or are related in some way  Groups can be classified by basic categories or clusters – but can’t be classified by categories alone  Perceiving groups: people intuitively draw distinctions between groups - intimate groups, task- focused groups, loose associations, and more general social categories  Aggregate – a collection of individuals who are present in the same time and place but who do not form a unit  Moving from a category/aggregate to a group Types of Groups  Cooley (1909) drew a distinction between primary and secondary groups  Types of groups:  Primary  Secondary  Planned (concocted and founded)  Emergent (circumstantial and self-organizing)  Cartwright and Zander (1960) were reluctant to classify groups as Cooley did – underestimated the complexity of groups  Planned Group – a group that is deliberately formed by its members or an external authority.  Emergent Group – a group can result from basically nothing  a group that is created gradually as individuals interact with the same subset of individuals.  Arrow and her colleagues (2000) offer a more fine-grained analysis  planned vs. emergent  Interaction: task and relationship  Interdependence: sequential, reciprocal, mutual  Structure: roles, norms, relations  Goals: generating, choosing, negotiating, executing  Perception of Membership Characteristics of Groups - Interaction  Groups are systems that create, organize, and sustain interaction among members  What do people do in groups – words, actions, instruction, support, emotions  Task Interaction – actions performed by individuals pertaining to group’s tasks and goals  Relationship Interaction – actions performed by the group relating to emotional and interpersonal bonds Characteristics of Groups - Interdependence  Experiences (emotions, actions, communication, etc.) are determined by other members of the group and vice versa  Unilateral – top down approach  Sequential – influence of one member to the next.  Reciprocal – two or more members may influence each other – relationship might be unequal  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 Characteristics of Groups - Structure  Groups’ structure are often organized in predictable patterns  Roles – set of behaviours expected of people who occupy certain positions  Norms – a consensual standard that describes what behaviours should and should not be performed in a given context Characteristics of Groups - Goals  Groups often strive towards some common outcome  McGrath’s Circumplex Model of Group Tasks  Generating  Choosing  Negotiation  Executing  Group Cohesion: the strength of the bonds linking individuals to the group  Carron, Brawley, and Widmeyer (1998) defined cohesion as “a dynamic process that is reflected in the tendency of a group to stick t
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