PSY220H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Social Loafing, Fishing Reel, Deindividuation

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15 Nov 2012
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CHAPTER 7
WHAT IS A GROUP?
-group: at least two people who interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as “us” in contrast to
“them” for more than a few moments
SOCIAL FACILITATION: HOW ARE WE AFFECTED BY THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS?
-co-actors: group of people working simultaneously and individually on a task that is non-competitive “mere
presence”
The mere presence of others
-social facilitation:
-original meaning: the tendency of people to perform tasks that are simple or well-learned better when in the
presence of others
-current meaning: the strengthening of dominant responses owning to the presence of others
-ex: children who were told to wind string on a fishing reel as fast as possible would reel even faster in the
presence of others performing the same task
-however presence of others can sometimes hinder performances such as completing a maze
-Zajonc proposed that arousal enhances whatever response tends to be dominant
-increases performance on easy tasks where a correct response is most likely dominant
-increased arousal on complex tasks promotes incorrect responses where the correct answer is not dominant
Presence of others arousal strengthens dominant responses enhance easy behaviour
Impairs difficult behaviour
Crowding: the presence of many others
-effect of the presence of others increases with their number
-positive or negative reactions are intensified by being in a crowd
-when closely surrounded by others we are more likely to notice and engage in their laughter or clapping
-crowding enhances arousal
-tested a group of 10 in either a 7x10m room or a 3x4m room
-those in the smaller room had increased levels of arousal (higher pulse rate and blood pressure)
-effects were similar to the presence of others enhances arousal which facilitates dominant response
Why are we aroused in the presence of others?
-3 possible factors: evaluation apprehension, distraction, mere presence
-evaluation apprehension
-evaluation apprehension: concern for how others are evaluating us
-when people think they are being evaluated the enhancement of dominant responses is strongest
-ex: joggers sped up when passing a woman facing them rather than sitting with her back turned
-people perform best when their co-actor is slightly superior
-arousal decreases when a high-status group is diluted by adding people whose opinions don’t matter to us
-people who are most nervous about others’ evaluations are the ones most affected by their presence
-social facilitation effects are greatest when the others are unfamiliar and hard to keep an eye on
-driven by distraction
-conflict between paying attention to others and paying attention to the task overloads the cognitive system,
causing arousal
-mere presence
-produces some arousal even without evaluation apprehension or arousing distraction
SOCIAL LOAFING: DO INDIVIDUALS EXERT LESS EFFORT IN A GROUP?
Many hands make light work
-social loafing: tendency for people to exert less effort when they pool their efforts toward a common goal than when
they are individually accountable
-ex: participants who were blindfolded and told to pull the rope as hard as they could pulled 18% harder than
when they were alone compared to when they thought that others were behind them pulling
-more likely to free-ride
-free riders: benefiting from the group but giving little in return
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Document Summary

Group: at least two people who interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as us in contrast to. Co-actors: group of people working simultaneously and individually on a task that is non-competitive mere presence . Original meaning: the tendency of people to perform tasks that are simple or well-learned better when in the presence of others. Current meaning: the strengthening of dominant responses owning to the presence of others. Ex: children who were told to wind string on a fishing reel as fast as possible would reel even faster in the presence of others performing the same task. However presence of others can sometimes hinder performances such as completing a maze. Zajonc proposed that arousal enhances whatever response tends to be dominant. Presence of others arousal strengthens dominant responses enhance easy behaviour. Increases performance on easy tasks where a correct response is most likely dominant.

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