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Chapter 10

Ch. 10 Group Dynamics and Intergroup Relations


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY220H1
Professor
Jennifer Fortune
Chapter
10

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Ch.10 Group Dynamics and Intergroup Relations
Group dynamics:the social psychological study of groups and group processes
Group: two or more persons who are interacting with one another and/or influencing
one another
Social facilitation: the effects of the presence of other people on individual
performance, which will usually be improved performance on simple tasks and impaired
performance on complex tasks.
Dominant responses: the action (facilitation or inhibition) that is most likely to occur in
a situation or on a task when the individual is alone.
Social Loafing: the reduction of effort that people often exhibit when working in a group
where individual contributions are unidentifiable
Deindividuation: a psychological state in which a people lose their sense of personal
identity and feel immersed in a group (e.g. when put in uniform)
Groupthink: a way of thinking that can occur in a decision-making groups when
pressure to agree leads to inadequate appraisal of options and poor decisions
Group cohesiveness: the combined strength of all forces acting on members of a
group to remain in the group
Group polarization: the tendency for group discussion to strengthen the initial
learnings of the members in a group
Transformational leaders: individuals who produce fundamental changes in how
members of a group view themselves and the group
Task achievement function: aspects of leadership that relate to group productivity
Group maintenance function: aspects of leadership that relate to morale in the group
Task leader: an individual who takes charge of issues related to productivity in a group
Socioemotional leader: an individual who takes charge of issues related to morale in a
group
Trait approach to leadership: the perspective that people become leaders, or perform
well as leaders, because of their individual characteristics, such as intelligence and
charisma.
Great Person theory: the hypothesis that exceptional leaders possess extraordinary
qualities and skills-consistent with the trait approach to leadership
Situational approach to leadership: the perspective that external, situational factors,
such as seating arrangements, can influence who will become leader ofa group
Interactionist approach to leadership:the perspective that certain kinds of people are
likely to emerge as leaders (or to be effective leaders) under one set of conditions,
whereas other kinds of people are likely to emerge as leaders (or to be effective
leaders) under different set of conditions
Contingency model of leadership effectiveness: a theory that predicts that task-
oriented leaders will be more successful than relationship-oriented leaders in groups
where the situation is either very favourable or very unfavourable for the leader,

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whereas relationship-oriented leaders will be more successful than task-oriented leaders
in groups where the situation is mixed for the leader.
Acculturation: the process of cultural and psychological change that takes place as a
result of contact between two or more cultural groups and their individual members
Dehumanization: the process of perceiving members of a group as a subhuman or
inferior to members of one;s own group; it allows people to inflict pain and suffering on
the group without worrying about the morality of their behaviour
Terrorism: actual or threatened violence against civilians for alleged political purposes
Conflictive ethos: an atmosphere of distrust and hatred that can develop in
longstanding disputes
Ethos of peace: an atmosphere of acceptance and cooperation, which can facilitate the
resolution of disputes
Unilateral conciliatory initiatives: actions to reduce conflict that one group takes
without any request from the opponents and without any explicit demands for
concessions from the opponent
-improvement in performance in front of an audience utilized relatively simple tasks, and
most studies that had shown a decrease in performance in front of an audience utilized
relatively complex tasks
Robert Zajonc proposed explanation for both facilitation and inhibition effects:
presence of others increases our arousal
when task at hand is dominant, that arousal leads to facilitation
when task at hand is poorly-learned, that arousal leads to inhibition
simple tasks performed better on front of audience
complex/unfamiliar tasks performance poor in fron of audience
=performance heightened by audience
Zajonc cockroach experiment:
cockroach completed simple maze faster when others present
faster at complex maze when alone
Individuals in a group (social psychology)
share a common identity
share a common goal
work together
depend on each other
Why groups?
groups favored by evolution (survival)
groups are essential to culture
Advantage of Animal Groups

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safety in numbers
vigilance: even if just one spots the danger, or opportunity
sharing resources
working together, increased power
Advantages of Human Groups
Role differentiation, division of labor
-everything done by experts
-e.g. assembly line
Accumulation/sharing of knowledge
-transmission to next generation
-can reorganize the group based on info, ideas
Economic exchange
-groups put more resources to disposal, can share/exchange
Scientific Study of Goofing Off:
social loafing: group performance decreases in situations in which individual output is
not identified
Unintentional slacking predicted by:
-deindividuation
-meaningfulness of the group
-cohesiveness predict intentional
People less likely to loaf when group is important to them than when group is relatively
unimportant
Men more likely than women to engage social loafing (b/c women more group
oriented)
individualistic cultures more likely than collectivist cultures to engage in social loafing
Video: Social Control ABC News:
public humiliation can make people do things (e.g. when PA tells someone to pick up
garbage) b/c they are identified in group
taking away deindividuation can have dramatic effects
when people don’t feel recognizable people feel like they do not have to obey rules
Facilitation vs Loafing
both have presence of others
social facilitation found in many animals
social loafing uniquely humane
Leadership and Power
Group behavior has many drawback when lacking leadership
large groups typically depend on leaders and a hierarchy of power to function
leadership closely related to power
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