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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Groups.odt

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PSYC 215
John Lydon

Chapter Twelve Groups The Nature and Purpose of Group Living the advantages that humans receive from group living are not well known, as other animal species pursue successfully both solitary and group lifestyles protection from predators efficiency in acquiring food assistance with rearing children defense against human aggressors group collection of individuals who have relations to one another that make them interdependent to significant degree Social Facilitation what effect does the presence of other people have on human performance? Initial Research Norman Triplett, 1898 social facilitation initially a term for enhanced performance in the presence of others; now a broader term for the effect (positive or negative) of the presence of others on performance the presence of others seems to facilitate human performance the same effects are obtained when others are present but not necessarily doing the same task the same effects are also observed in a vast number of animal species exceptions: the presence of others seems to inhibit performance on arithmetic problems, memory tasks, and maze learning this has also been found in other species Resolving the Contradictions study of the effects of the presence of others on performance Zajonc's Theory the presence of others tends to facilitate performance on simple or well-learned tasks, but it hinders the performance on novel or difficult tasks three components the mere presence of others makes a person more aroused other people are dynamic and unpredictable stimuli, capable of doing almost anything at any time we need to be alert in their presence so we can react to what they might do arousal tends to make a person more rigid, in the sense that the person becomes even more inclined to do what he/she was already inclined to do makes a person more likely to make a dominant response in an individual's hierarchy of responses, the response he or she is most likely to make links increase in dominant response tendencies to the facilitation of simple tasks and the inhibition of complex tasks for easy/well learned tasks, the dominant response is likely to be the correct response presence of others facilitates the correct response and improves performance for difficult/ novel tasks, the dominant response is unlikely to be the correct response presence of others facilitates an incorrect response and hinders performance Testing the Theory the theory has held up extremely well Zajonc tested this theory on cockroaches presence of another cockroach facilitated performance on the simple maze but hindered performance on the complex maze Coacting vs. Mere Presence to show that it was the mere presence of the other cockroaches affecting the roach's performance, Zajonc put the observing cockroaches behind a plexiglass barrier same results occurred as the original experiment/ hypothesis Mere Presence or EvaluationApprehension? one element of Zajonc's theory is disputed: whether it is the mere presence of other people that increases arousal evaluation apprehension people's concern about how they might appear in the eyes of others that is, about being evaluated Testing for Evaluation Apprehension to evaluate for evaluation apprehension, there must be three conditions: one with the subject performing alone one with the subject performing in front of an evaluative audience one with the subject performing in front of an audience that cannot evaluate a subject's performance Cottrell et al., 1968 pseudo-recognition test participants weren't actually shown any of the original words in the replication, so were therefore forced to guess on every trial individuals performing in front of an evaluative audience made more dominant responses than those performing alone individuals performing in front of a blindfolded audience did not make more dominant responses than those performing alone concern is for others as a source of evaluation, not their mere presence Testing for Mere Presence the alone condition in Cottrell's experiment may not have been a true alone condition at all, seeing as the participants knew they were taking part in an experiment Markus, 1978 managed to create a true alone condition participants took off and put on their own shoes more quickly when in the presence of another person participants took off and put on the experimenter's items more slowly when in the presence of another person Further Perspectives on Social Facilitation distraction-conflict theory a theory based on the idea that being aware of anotherperson's presence creates a conflict between attending to that person and attending to the task at hand, and that this attentional conflict is arousing and produces social facilitation effects social loafing the tendency to exert less effort when working on a group task in which individual contribution cannot be monitored PracticalApplications how to study study alone when material is unfamiliar and must be committed to memory workspace design if tasks to be completed are simple or repetitive, then the setting should be designed so that people are in contact with one another Group Decision Making based on the assumption that decisions made by groups are typically superior to those made by individuals although arriving at the best possible solution to a problem may be the group's most important goal, individuals may not share this goal individuals may be concerned with being judged or hurting someone's feelings Groupthink 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 Symptoms and Sources of Groupthink groupthin
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