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PSY220H5 (98)
Chapter 7

PSY220 chapter 7 textbook notes

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Dax Urbszat

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 -being in a group situation decreases evaluation apprehension – people feel they are not accountable and cannot evaluate their own efforts -loafing increases when the size of the group increases Others’ presence individual efforts evaluated  evaluation apprehension  arousal Others’ presence  individual efforts pooled and not evaluated  no evaluation apprehension  relaxation Social loafing in everyday life -ex: assembly line workers produce 16% more product when their individual output was identified -social loafing still evident in collectivist cultures however exhibit less social loafing than people in individualist cultures -in collectivist cultures, women exhibit less social loafing and are less individualistic than men -social loafing may not occur if group members are highly committed to one another and the success of the group -when the task is challenging, appealing or involving, people in groups will loaf less -an individual may work harder if they see their other group members as unreliable or unable to contribute as much -those less capable may strive to keep up with the greater productivity of others -collective effort is also promoted when an incentive or a challenge to strive for a certain standard is added -group members loaf less when members are friends -by keeping work groups small can also help members believe their contributions are indispensable DEINDIVIDUATION: WHEN DO PEOPLE LOSE THEIR SENSE OF SELF IN GROUPS? Doing together what we would not do alone -deindividuation: loss of self-awareness and evaluation apprehension; occurs in group situations that foster anonymity and draw attention away from the individual -group size -individuals in a group that is large and at night have a greater sense of anonymity compared to a small group exposed to the daylight -evaluation apprehension drops because “everyone is doing it” – attribute their behaviour to the situation instead of their own choices -physical anonymity -ex: women with white coats and hoods pressed the shock button twice as long as the visible women wearing name tags – situation in which experiments took place had clear antisocial cues  wearing Klan-like outfits could have encouraged hostility -however when dressed in a nurse uniform they became less aggressive in administering shocks than when their personal identities were stressed -ex: children in a group at Halloween were more likely to take extra candy -being anonymous makes an individual feel less self-conscious and more responsive to cues presented in that situation whether those cues be negative or positive -arousing and distracting activities -self-reinforcing pleasure in doing an impulsive act while observing others doing it also Diminished self-awareness -unselfconscious, deindividuated people are less restrained, less self regulated, more likely to act without thinking and are more responsive to the situation -people made self-aware are less likely to cheat -people who are self-aware, or who are temporarily made so, exhibit greater consistency between their words outside a situation and their deeds in it GROUP POLARIZATION: DO GROUPS INTENSIFY OUR OPINIONS? -group discussion often strengthens members’ initial inclinations The case of the “risky shift”
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