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Chapter 7

PSYC 1002 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Social Loafing, Deindividuation, Fishing Reel

Course Code
PSYC 1002
Mara Fuentes Avila

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Social Psych Chapter 7: Group Influence
What is a Group?
-Group: two or more people who interact and influence one another
oGroups perceive themselves as “us”
Social Facilitation: How are we Affected By the Presence of Others?
-Co-Actors: a group of people working simultaneously and individually on a non-
competitive task
The Mere Presence Of Others
- Triplett was the first to notice that cyclists times were faster when racing together than
when racing alone against the clock
- Triplett did a study where he got children to wind strong on a fishing reel as fast as
possible and when they worked with co-actors they were faster
-Social Facilitation: this is when the dominant response is done in the presence of
others, the original meaning was that people performed simple task better when others
are present
oSocial facilitation happens in animals also
- Some studies show that on some tasks the presence of others decreases performance
oPresence of others diminishes efficiency at learning nonsense syllables,
completing a maze and performing complex multiplication problems
-Rober Zajonc wondered whether why the presence of others sometimes facilitates
performance and hinders it
oHe said that arousal enhances whatever tendency is dominant
oIncreased arousal enhances performance on easy task
oOn complex task where the correct answer isn’t dominant, increased arousal
promotes incorrect responding
- Social arousal facilitates dominant responses and it should boost performance on easy
tasks and hurt performance on difficult tasks
-Arousal facilitates dominant responses
- Studies of sports team showed that home teams win about 6 in 10 games
- In the presence of other people have physiological responses
- The effect of others presence increases with their number
- When there are extreme pressure we’re vulnerable to choking

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- Crowding enhances arousal, rooms that are densely packed had higher blood pressure
and on difficult tasks they made more errors (Gary Evans)
Why are We Aroused in the Presence of Others?
1. Evaluation Apprehension
2. Distraction
3. Mere Presence
Evaluation Apprehension
-Evaluation Apprehension: concern for how others are evaluating us
-Cottrell saw that the enhancement of dominant responses are strongest when people
think they are being evaluated
-Evaluation Apprehension explains these findings:
oPeople perform best when their co-actor is slightly superior
oArousal lessens when a high status group is diluted by adding people whose
opinions don’t matter to us
oPeople who worry most about others evaluation are the ones most affected by
their presence
oSocial facilitation effects are greatest when the others are unfamiliar and hard to
keep an eye on
- The self-consciousness we feel when being evaluated can interfere with behaviours that
we perform best automatically
Driven By Distraction
- Sander, Baron and Moore theorized that when people wonder how co-actors are doing
or how an audience is reacting, they get distracted
- The conflict between paying attention to others and paying attention to the task
overloads the cognitive system causing arousal
Mere Presence
-Zajonc believed that the mere presence of others produces some arousal even without
evaluation apprehension or arousing distraction
Social Loafing: Do Individuals Exert Less Effort in a Group?
Many Hands Make Light Work
- It is suggested that group members may be less motivated when performing additive
-Social Loafing: the tendency for people to exert less effort when they pool their efforts
toward a common goal than when they are individually accountable

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- When others in a study believed that the 5 others were producing noise they produced
one third less noise than when they thought themselves alone
-Free Riders: people who benefit from the group but give little in return
oStudents pumped exercise bicycles more energetically when they knew there
were individually monitored than when they thought their output was being
pooled with other riders
- In the social loafing experiments in the group situation there was decreased evaluation
oWhen people aren’t accountable and can’t evaluate their efforts responsibility is
diffused across all group members
- When being observed increases evaluation concerns, social facilitation happens; when
being lost in a crowd decreases evaluation concerns social loafing happens
- To motivate group members a strategy is to make individual performance identifiable
Social Loafing In Everyday Life
- In an experiment, assembly line workers produced 16% more product when their
individual output was identified
- On collectivist farms in Russia, people worked on one field one day and another the next
oFor their own use they were given small private plots
oThe private plots occupied 1% of the land but produced 27% of the farm output
- In Asia, the collectivist cultures they exhibit less social loafing than people in individualist
- Women tend to be less individualistic than men and exhibit less social loafing
-When rewards are divided equally regardless of your contribution any person get
more reward per unity of effort by free-riding on the group
- People are motivated to slack off when their efforts are not individually monitored and
-People in groups loaf less when the task is challenging, appealing or involving
oWhen people see others in their group as unreliable they work harder
oAdding incentives or challenging a group to strive for certain standards promotes
collective effort
- Groups loaf less when their members are friends or if you have to interact with them
DeindividuationL When Do People Lose Their Sense of Self In Groups?
Doing Together What We Would Not Do Alone
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