PSYC 3430 - Test 1 Notes
Chapter 1: Introduction to Group Dynamics
The Nature of Groups
Group Dynamics: The influential actions, processes, and changes that occur within and
between groups over time. It is also the scientific study of those processes.
A group is two or more individuals who are connected by and within social relationships.
Membership: The state of being a part of, or included within a social group.
Network: A set of interconnected individuals or groups linked by relational ties.
Social identity: Aspects of the self-concept that derive from relationships and
memberships in groups. Those qualities in particular are held in common by two or more
people who recognize that they are members of the same group or social category. It can
be said as the “sum total of a person’s social identifications, where the latter represents
socially significant social categorizations internalized as aspects of the self-concept.”
Relationship interaction: Actions performed by group members relating to emotional and
interpersonal bonds, including both positive (social support, consideration) and negative
(criticism, conflict) actions. Task interaction: Actions performed by group members that
pertain to the group’s projects, tasks, and goals.
Circumplex model of group tasks: Joseph McGrath’s conceptual taxonomy that orders
group tasks in a circular pattern based on two continua (cooperative-competitive and
conceptual-behavior). This model distinguishes four basic group goals: Generating ideas
or plans, choosing a solution, negotiating a solution, and executing (performing) a task.
Interdependence: Members depend on one another. Their outcomes, actions, thoughts,
feelings, and experiences are determined in part by others in the group.
o Mutually reciprocal, unilateral (top-down), unequally reciprocal (centralized),
sequential, multi-level (pyramid).
Group structure: The complex of roles, norms, and inter-member relations that organizes
the group. Group cohesion: Strength of the bonds linking individuals to and in the group.
Entiativity: Donald Campbell describes this as the extent to which an assemblage of
individuals is perceived to be a group rather than an aggregation of independent,
unrelated individuals that is the quality of being an entity.
o Influenced by common fate, similarity, and proximity.
Primary Group: Small, long-term group such as families and friendship cliques. Charles
Cooley believes such groups served as the primary source of socialization for members
by shaping their attitudes, values, and social orientation.
Thomas Theorem: Theoretical premise by W. I. Thomas which maintains that an
individual’s understanding of the social situation, even if incorrect, will determine how
he or she will act in the situation. If men define situations as real, consequences are real.
Essentialism: Belief that all things have a basic nature which makes them distinguished.
Social (Secondary) Groups: Relatively small number of individuals who interact with one
another over an extended period of time, such as work groups, clubs, and organizations.
Collective: 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. 2
Groups can also be planned (deliberately formed) or emergent (circumstantial).
The Nature of Group Dynamics
Paradigm: Scientists’ shared assumptions about the phenomenon they study in research.
Level of Analysis: Specific focus of study chosen from a graded or nested sequence of
possible foci. Individual-level analysis focused on the individual within a group whereas
group-level analysis focused on the individual as an element within the group.
Collective conscious (groupmind): Hypothetical unifying mental force linking group
members together. The fusion of individual consciousness or mind into transcendence. It
is often known as a supra-individual level of consciousness that links telepathically.
B = f (P, E): Interactionism formula proposed by Kurt Lewin that assumes each person’s
behavior (B) is a function of his or her personal qualities (P), the social environment (E),
and the interaction of these personal qualities with factors present in the social setting.
Group development: Bruce Tuckman’s theory that examines the pattern of growth and
change that emerges across the group’s life span.
Multilevel Perspective: Examining group behavior from several different levels of
analysis, including individual (micro), group (meso), and organizational (macro) levels.
Kurt Lewin describes action research as the scientific inquiry that both expands basic
theoretical knowledge and identifies solutions to significant social problems.
Group Development: 1. Forming, 2. Storming, 3. Norming, 4. Performing, 5. Adjourning.
Chapter 2: Studying Groups
Measurement in Group Dynamics
Overt observation is openly watching and recording group behavior without attempting to
conceal one’s research purposes. Covert observation is watching and recording group
behavior without the participants’ knowledge. Participant observation is watching and
recording group behavior while taking part in the social process.
o Hawthorne Effect: A change in behavior that occurs when individuals know they
are being studied by researchers.
Institutional Review Board (IRB): A group that is responsible for reviewing research
procedures to make certain that they are consistent with human ethical guidelines.
Qualitative Study: Collects and analyze nonnumeric, un-quantified types of data, such as
text, images, or objects. Structured Observational Methods: Classifies group members’
actions into defined categories. Quantitative Study: Collect and analyze data in numeric
form, such as frequencies, proportions, or amounts.
Interaction Process Analysis (IPA): Structured coding system by Robert Bales used to
classify group behavior into task-oriented and relationship-oriented categories.
Reliability: Determined by a measure’s consistency across time, components, and raters.
Validity: Describes a measurement method that assesses what it was designed to measure.
Test-retest Reliability: Measured by computing the correlation coefficient between scores
of two administrations of the same test. Predictive Validity: The extent to which scores
on the scale are related to and predictive of some future outcome that is of practical utility.
Self-report measure: An assessment method asking respondents to describe themselves. 3
Sociometry: Research technique that graphically and mathematically summarizes patterns
of intermember relations. Sociogram: Graphic representation of the patterns of
intermember relations created through sociometry. Personality: MacKinnon (1959).
Trait theory: People differ based on stable attributes (lies on a continuum).
o OCEAN: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion,
Type theory: People can be sorted into categories (either one type or the other).
Research Methods in Group Dynamics
Groupthink: A strong concurrence-seeking tendency that interferes with effective group
decision making (Irving Janis). Case Study: In-depth examination.
Bona Fide Group: Naturally occurring groups found in everyday, natural contexts.
Scapegoat: Individual or group unfairly held responsible for a negative event or outcome.
Unit of Analysis: Focus of empirical and theoretical interest selected when individuals or
objects under study are nested in a series of increasingly inclusive or graded clusters.
Meyer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Based on Jungian theory of personality,
individuals are classified on four scales. Extroversion-Introversion, Sensing-Intuition,
Thinking-Feeling, and Perception-Judging were used scales to enhance team efficiency.
Emotion: Subjective, universal, train