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Week 7 Readings.docx

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PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

Week 7 Readings – PSYCH 2310 – Chapter 9 Chapter 9: Group Processes How do groups influence our behaviour? - most human activities are performed in a group (bands, sports teams, army, volunteer teams, juries, etc.) - intragroup processes: processes that happen within a group - intergroup processes: processes that occur between groups of people - What defines a group? o when two or more individuals perceive themselves to be members of the same social category o two or more people define themselves as members of a group and when its existence is recognized by at least one other, outside the group - Social Facilitation o The presence of others can have a positive influence on an individuals behaviour  This was first noticed by Triplett (1898) who observed that cyclists were faster when they raced with other cyclists than when they raced alone o Social facilitation is when people do better on a task in the presence of others than when they are alone! o Social inhibition is when people do worse on the task in the presence of others than when they are alone! o Why does social facilitation, or social inhibition occur?  Mere presence  Evaluation apprehension  Distraction - Social Loafing o Social loafing is a group-produced reduction in individuals output on easy tasks where contributions are pooled! (So essentially the individual slacks off) o What factors social loafing?  Collective effective model: a model which describes people’s motivation to exert effort in group tasks as depending on whether they believe their distinct efforts will be identifiable, their efforts will make a difference in the group’s success, and they’ll experience positive outcomes.  Let’s examine each of these factors:  Identifiable contributions o When people socially loaf, they do it in part because they can hide in the crowd  Contributions’ impact o People who must perform a difficult and unique task for the group will not reduce their effort, even when their individual ouput won’t be Week 7 Readings – PSYCH 2310 – Chapter 9 evaluated – they feel they can make an important contribution to the group effort  Task importance o In cases where the task is very important, people can be highly motivated to work hard even when their own contributions won’t be identifiable – in this case, social compensation occurs – this is the notion that if a project is important to you, you may work even harder to compensate for the poor performance or social loafing of others - Group Cohesion o Group cohesion refers to the morale, team spirit, and solidarity of the members of the group o Cohesiveness is an essential characteristic that transforms a collection of individual people into members of a group o How does social compensation impact task performance?  Participants worked harder ona group task when they had low expectations about their partner’s competence than if they had high expectations about their partner’s competence How do intragroup processes influence decision-making? - group polarization o when the initial tendencies of group members become more extreme following group discussion o this process can lead groups to make riskier decisions than individuals would make alone – this is known as risky shift o why does group discussion lead groups to polarize in their views?  Hear more persuasive arguments  Learn group norms - Groupthink o A group decision-making type that is characterized by an excessive tendency among group members to seek concurrence, consensus, and unanimity, as opposed to making the best decision o What contributes to groupthink?  Overestimate invulnerability and morality  Closed-mindedness  Pressure toward uniformity o High-cohesive groups made better decisions than low-cohesive groups when threat levels were low, but lower quality decisions when under high threat. o Solutions to Groupthink  Group members need to encourage open contributions from all members as well as to emphasize the importance of open criticism  Groups should deliberately recruit diverse members training a person in the group about the dangers of biased group Week 7 Readings – PSYCH 2310 – Chapter 9 decision-making and having this person inform other group members about these issues can also be effective How do leaders guide and motivate the group? - trait or “great person” model o describes good leaders as emerging based on specific personality traits, such a
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