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Chapter 12

PSYC 215 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Cockroach, Social Skills, Individuation

Course Code
PSYC 215
Mark Baldwin

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Social Psychology Chapter 12 Groups
Group living
Evolution shows beneficial: protection, food, child rearing, defence
Group: collection of individuals who have relations to on another that make them
interdependent to different degrees
Social facilitation: what effect the presence of other people has on human performance?
A. Social psychology's first experiment
Social facilitation: the presence of others facilitates performance, enhanced
performance when members of same species do the same thing or passive observe
- now a broader term fro the effect positive or negative of the presence of others
o Inhibit performance on math, memory, maze learning - on other animals
B. Zajonc's theory
Mere presence of others tends to facilitate performance on simpler tasks and
hinder performance on more difficult tasks
1. Mere presence of others makes a person more aroused - prepared to react to
whatever the other might do
2. Arousal makes person more inclined for automatic response
o Dominant response: in a hierarchy of possible responses in any context,
the response the person is most likely to make
3. Increase in dominant response make easy tasks facilitated but difficult tasks
impaired because facilitate incorrect response
o 1. cockroaches run way from light as dominant response
o 2. one condition with simple maze, another condition with complex maze
o Results: running faster simple maze with another cockroach but running
slower complex maze
o 2. added condition with mere observer cockroach
o Result: running faster with observing cockroach but running slower
complex maze
Real life example: audience makes skilled players perform better and unskilled
players perform worse
C. Mere presence or evaluation apprehension
Evaluation apprehension: a concern about looking bad in the eyes of others
o 3 conditions: alone, evaluative audience, non evaluative audience
o Pseudo recognition test
o In front of evaluative audience made more dominant responses
Maybe not psychologically alone - while waiting for another
participant, change to lab coat and lab shoes
3 conditions: alone, with another person watching, with a
Change their own clothes faster than change the lab clothes in
mere presence of others, effects stronger when the audience is
more attentive
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Mere presence sufficient to facilitate performance on well learned
task and inhibit performance on novel tasks
Distraction conflict theory: being aware of aware of another person's presence
creates a conflict between attending to that person or the task - attentional conflict
is arousing and produces social facilitation effect
Non social distractions can also generate social facilitation effect
Good to study alone novel material and in group when further knowledge
Put in social setting when task is simple or repetitive, put alone when task is more
challenging and ever changing
Social loafing: tendency to exert less effort when working on a group task which
individual contributions cannot be monitored - working less hard than they would
otherwise and relying on the effort of others to get the job done
o Presence of others can mask the effect of social facilitation effects
o Loaf because their contributions are not seen as crucial to the success of
the effort and cannot be assessed
Group decision making: how and how well groups make decisions
Groupthink: a kind of faulty thinking by highly cohesive groups in which the critical
scrutiny that should be devoted to the issues at hand is subverted by social pressures to
reach consensus
Janis: psychological diminishment characterized by a shallow examination of
information, a narrow consideration of alternatives and a sense of invulnerability
and moral superiority - especially under direction of strong leader
Incestuous amplification: condition in warfare where one only listens to those
who are already in lock step agreement, reinforcing set beliefs and creating a
situation ripe for miscalculation
Self censorship: the decision to withhold information or opinions
Prevent groupthink: designate a devil's advocate, encourage criticism, avoid
tunnel vision and illusion of consensus
o Different across culture: Japan discuss matters individually before the
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