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Chapter 12

PSYC 215 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Social Facilitation

Course Code
PSYC 215
John Lydon

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Social Psychology Chapter 12 Summary
- We have a psychological need to belong to a group
- A group is a set of individuals with some relation that makes them interdependent to some
significant degree
- The degree to which a set of people constitutes a group varies along a continuum
Initial Research
- Presence of others was seen to facilitate performance when referring to bicycle races
- Social facilitation research: initially meant enhanced performance in presence of others. Now
embodies the positive and negative effect of having someone else present
- While usually the presence of another facilitates performance it could also inhibit it
Resolving the Contradictions
Zajonc’s Theory
- On simple, well-learned task the presence of others facilitates tasks but if the task is difficult or
novel, it hinders it
- Theory has 3 components: 1.) Mere presence of another makes people more aroused 2.)
Arousal makes people more rigidly inclined to do what they were already doing 3.) Movement
to dominant response facilitates easy and well-learned tasks but inhibits difficult ones
- Zajonc think that people becoming more aroused make a dominant response (in an individual’s
hierarchy of responses, the response they were most likely to make)
- For well-learned task, your dominant response is triggered and is more than likely correct, it will
make you perform that task correctly
- For difficult task, you dominant response is more than likely wrong so you perform poorly
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