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Psychology (1,468)
PSYCH 2C03 (81)
Chapter 7


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Jennifer Ostovich

GROUP INFLUENCE What is a group? - two or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as “us” - groups exist for various reasons- meet a need to belong, provide info, supply rewards, accomplish goals - 3 collective influences: social facilitation, loafing, deindividuation (minimal groups or while interacting) - Social influences in interacting groups : group polarization, group think, minority influence Social facilitation: how are we affected by the presence of others? - coactors: a group of people working simultaneously and individually on a noncompetitive task The mere presence of others - cyclists times were faster when racing together - Triplett: Children wound string on fishing reel faster when they worked with coactors - Others’ presence improves speed with multiplication problems, accuracy with which people perform simple motor tasks (keeping metal stick in contact with moving turnable) - Ants excavate more sand and chickens eat more grain in presence of other species - Social facilitation effect: • The tendency of people to perform simple or well-learned tasks better when others are present (original) • The strengthening of dominant (prevalent, likely) responses owing to the presence of others (current) - HOWEVER, the presence of others hinders performance in some tasks • Cockroaches learn mazes more slowly • Diminishes efficiency of people learning nonsense syllables, completing mazes, complex multiplication probelsm - Research lay dormant for 25 years - Zajonc: • Arousal enhances whatever response tendency is dominant o Increased arousal enhances performance on easy tasks for which the most likely (dominant) response is the correct one o Solve easy anagrams fastest when they’re anxious, do worse when anxious if anagram is harder o On complex tasks, where correct answer is not dominant, increased arousal promotes incorrect responding • If social arousal facilitates dominant responses, it should boost performance on easy tasks and hurt performance on difficult tasks o Responses for winding fishing reels, simple multiplication problems are well learned/naturally dominant  others boosted performance o Learning new material, maze, math problem are difficult for which the correct responses were initially less probable  presence increased number of incorrect responses • Arousal facilitates dominant responses • Others presence  arousal  strengthens dominant responses  (1) enhancing easy behaviour (2)impairing difficult behaviour - Confirmed: • Hung & Hillery: presence of others, students took less time to learn a simple maze and more time to learn a hard one • Good pool players did better when 4 observers came to watch them; poor shooters did even worse • Athletes perform well practised skills  perform best when energized by response of supportive crowd [home teams win about 6/10 games] – home advantage may also stem from players’ familiarity with home environment, less travel fatigue, increased team identity when cheered by fans Crowding: the presence of many others - does the crowd always arouse people? - A supportive audience may elicit poorer performance on a challenging task- recital with family watching may not boost performance - Effect of other people increases with their number • Arousal and self-conscious attention created by a large audience interferes even with well-learned, automatic behaviours (e.g. speaking)  vulnerable to chocking, stutters when given extreme pressure - Crowd intensifies positive or negative reactions • When sitting close together  friendly people liked even more, unfriendly people disliked even more • Accomplice listened to a humorous tape or watched a movie w/ other subjects  all sat close together: accomplice could more readily induce them to laugh/clap • Close by: more likely to laugh/clap  also enhances arousal • 10 person groups put into either small or big room  when in small room: higher pulse rates/bp (arousal)  performance of simple tasks didn’t suffer, but difficult tasks did - Crowding enhances arousal  facilitates dominant responses Why are we aroused in the presence of others? - you will do what you do well when energized (unless you become hyperaroused and self- conscious) – what you find difficult may seem impossible in same circumstances - 3 factors: evaluation apprehension, distraction, mere presence Evaluation apprehension - concern for how others are evaluating us - observers make us apprehensive because we wonder how they are evaluating us - Cottrell (1968) • Examined social facilitation for the pronunciation of nonsense syllables and well learned easy to pronounce syllables • “mere presence” condition: blindfolded observers (“in preparation for a perception expt”)  did not boost well-practised responses (vs. watching audience) - Enhancement of dominant responses is strongest when people think they are being evaluated - Other support: • Joggers sped up as they came upon a woman seated on the grass (facing vs. back turned) • Arousal lessens when a high-status group is diluted by adding people whose opinions don’t matter to us • Social facilitation matters the most when others are unfamiliar and hard to keep an eye on • People perform best when their coactor is slightly superior • People who worry most about others’ evaluations are those who are most affected by their presence - Self-consciousness we feel when being evaluated can also interfere with behaviours that we perform best automatically (analyze body movements when throwing free throws  likely to miss) Driven by distraction - conflict between paying attention to others (wondering how they are doing) and paying attention to the task overloads the cognitive system  arousal - distraction caused by social facilitation of another person or even lights Mere presence - Zajonc believes the mere presence of others is enough to produce some arousal - Even shown in animals - Joggers feel energized when jogging with someone even one who neither competes nor evaluates - Theories: (1) confirm/modify theory (2) guide new exploration (3) suggests practical application - Practical applications of the social facilitation theory: open offices- awareness of others boost performance on well-learned tasks but disrupt creative thinking on complex tasks? Summary - performance improved with observers or coactors present vs. presence ofothers can hurt performance  arousal facilitates dominant responses - presence of others is arousing, so the presence of observers or coactors boosts performance on easy tasks (correct response is dominant) and hinders performance on difficult tasks (incorrect response is dominant) - arousal stems form evaluation apprehension, conflict from paying attention to others vs. concentrating on task, mere presence Social loafing: do individuals exert less effort in a group? - social facilitation occurs when we have individual goals and when efforts can be individually evaluated Many hands make light work - group members may be less motivated when performing additive tasks - participants pulled 18% harder when they knew they were pulling alone than when they believed that behind them two to five people were also pulling - 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 - noise produced by 6 people shouting/clapping as loud as you can was less than 3 times that produced by one person alone  group inefficiency? • Lead participants to believe they were shouting/clapping with a team • Blindfolded 6 people, seat them in a semicircle, put on headphones (blasted with sounds of people shouting/clapping) so they couldn’t hear others or themselves • Instructed to shout/clap alone or with a group • When participants believed five others were also shouting/clapping  1/3 less noise than when they thought themselves alone • Also occurred for HS cheerleaders • Those who clapped alone and in groups did not view themselves as loafing  believe they were clapping equally - Loafing occurs but no one admits doing the loafing - Students pumped exercise bicycles more energetically when they knew they were being individually monitored than when they thought their output was being pooled with that of other riders - Free ride (on group effort) : people who benefit from the group but give little in return - In social loafing expts, individuals believe they are evaluated only when they act alone, grp situation decreases evaluation apprehension - When people are not accountable, cannot evaluate own efforts  responsibility diffused - Social facilitation expts increased exposure to evaluation: center of attention  monitor behaviour - When being observed increases evaluation concerns, social facilitation occurs; when being lost in a crowd decreases evaluation concerns, social loafing occurs - Motivate members by making individual performance identifiable • University swim team members swim faster in relay races when someone monitors and announces individual times Social loafing in everyday life - do results generalize to everyday workers productivity? - Slack off: • Assembly line workers produced 16% more product when their individual output was identified; even though they knew their pay would be unchanged • Pickle packing workers tend to stuff any pickle into jars because output is not identifiable - Benefits: • Team spirit maintains when goal is compelling and maximum output is essential (e.g. Olympics) - People in groups loaf less when task is challenging, appealing, involving - People may perceive efforts as indispensable on challenging tasks - Work harder when see others as unreliable - When groups believe high effort will enable performance that will bring rewards (incentives promotes collective effort) - Loaf less when members are friends/identified - Expecting to interact with person again increases efforts - Given challenging objectives, rewarded, spirit of commitment  work harder - Small groups, equally competent Summary - when people work together for a common goal w/o individual accountability  work less hard when performing these “additive tasks” - diffused responsibility tempts individual group members to free-ride on group’s effort - people may put forth more effort when goal is important, rewards are significant, team spirit exists Deindividuation: when do people lose their sense of self in groups? Doing together what we would not do alone - arousal + diffused responsibility  normal inhibitions diminish  lessening of restraint, impulsive self-gratification, destructive social explosions - unrestrained behaviour (lose sense of individual responsibility, abandon normal restraints) provoked by power of a group - deindividuated: loss of self-awareness and evaluation apprehension; occurs in group situations that foster anonymity and draw attention away from the individual - single rock fan will not scream alone at a concert; fan will not set cars on fire Group size - makes individual unidentifiable - perceive action as the group’s - crowds present as someone threatened to jump from a building/bridge • crowd was small, exposed by daylight: people did not bait the person • large, night: crowd jeered/baited (anonymity given) - ‘everyone is doing it’  attribute behaviour to situation rather than own choices - Zimbardo: 2 10-years old cars left with hoods up and license plates removed: • Near New York University: auto strippers arrived in 10 minutes and took battery + radiator, 23 incidents of theft/vandalism left car as a useless hulk of metal • Palo Alto (small city in CA): the only person who touched the car was a passerby who lowered the hood when it began to rain Physical anonymity - can’t be sure that the car expt was due to anonymity  test for anonymity and see if it actually lessens inhibition - Zimbardo: dressed women in white coats and hoods rather than like KKK members  asked to deliver electric shocks to a woman  pressed the shock button twice as long as did women who were visible and wearing large name tags - Internet  anonymity  fosters hostility - Confederate driver stopped at red light and wait 12s whenever she was followed by a convertible 4x4 vehicle  recorded any horn honking (aggressive act) by the car behind  compared to drivers of convertibles and 4x4s with the top down  those who were relatively anonymous (top up) honked sooner, more often, longer - Ed Diener: • Observed children trick or treating, as children either went around alone or in groups • Experimenters greeted them and invited them to take one of the candies, then left the room • Compared to solo children, those in groups were 2x likely to take extra candy • Those who were anonymous (not asked name) also more likely to take more than 1 • When deindividuated by group immersion and anonymity  stole extra candy - Warriors depersonalize themselves with body/face paint or special masks  after war: kill, torture, take prisoners alive (cultures that depersonalized warriors were those which brutalized the enemy) • Uniformed CA soldiers who tortured and killed Shidane Arone were angered, aroused by mission and brutal desert heat, enjoying one another’s camaraderie they were unaware that outsiders would view their actions - Violent attacks often committed by those who wore masks, hoods, face disguises- anonymous attackers committed more serious injuries, attacked more people, more vandalism - Anonymity doesn’t always unleash worst impulses • Being anonymous makes one less self-conscious, more responsive to cues present in the situation- whether negative (KKK) or positive (nurse uniform)  Situations took place had clear antisocial cues  KKK outfit could have encouraged hostility  Had people wear nurse uniform  then made anonymous  became less aggressive in administering shocks than when their names/identities were stressed Arousing and distracting activities - aggressive outbursts by large crowds often preceded by minor actions that arouse and divert people’s attention - chanting, clapping, dancing  hype people up, reduce self-consciousness  set the stage for more disinhibited behaviour - watching others do the same thing  self-reinforcing pleasure - impulsive group absorbs our attention - at times, we seek deinvidivuating experiences- enjoy intense positive feelings, feel close to others Diminished self-awareness - group experiences that diminish self-consciousness tend to disconnect behaviour from attitudes - unselfconscious, deindividuated: less retrained, less self-regulated, more likely to act w/o thinking about their own values, more responsive to situation - made self awareness (in front of mirror): • ex. in front of a mirror, people test tasting cream cheese chose less fat variation • increased self-control, actions reflect atti
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