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Chapter 12

PSY220H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Social Loafing, Pierre Trudeau, National Energy Program


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY220H1
Professor
Heather V.Fritzley
Chapter
12

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PSY220: Chapter 12 Groups and Individuals (Lecture 4)
We all join groupssome that are temporary or longer lasting in nature
The groups we join often provide us with important benefits
All groups have to make decisions
All groups seek to maximize cooperationworking together to reach various goals; minimize conflict
All groups must deal with fairness both inside and outside the group
GROUPS: WHY WE JOIN AND WHY WE LEAVE
Group: a collection of people who are perceived to be bonded together in a coherent unit to some degree
Entiativity: the extent to which a group is perceived as being a coherent entity.
Varies greatly from a collection of people at the same place and time, to intimate families
True groups ones with high entiativity show the following
Members interact with one another often
The group is important to its members
Members share common goals and outcomes
Members are similar to one another in important ways
GROUPS: BASIC ASPECTS
Roles: Differentiation of Functions
Roles are the set of behaviours that individuals occupying specific positions within a group are
expected to perform
Roles can be assigned selection of individuals; or roles can be acquired (e.g. a leader)
People often internalize roles link it to aspects of their self-concept which can effect behaviour
Zimbardo et al (1973)‘Stanford Prison Experiment’
College students volunteered for a study of prison life to be ‘arrested’, while other
volunteers were prison guards
Purpose of the study determine whether participants would come to behave like real
guards and prisoners as a result of assigned roles
Results Yes, people internalize the role and alter their real behaviour
Status: Hierarchies
Status is an individual’s position or rank in a group
Different roles/positions in a group often associated with different levels of status and people
are often sensitive to status
Groups often use status as a means of influencing behaviour
Height may seem to play a role taller people appear to have an ‘edge’, regardless of gender
E.g. political leads/heads of large corporations tend to be taller than the average
There is a relationship between status and ‘judged’ height
Higham & Carment (1992)losers of a federal election were judged to be shorter after
the election, while the winner judged to be taller even if in reality they were the same
height
Tidens (2001)people can sometimes boost status through intimidationappearing
angry/threatening
Norms: The Rules of the Game
Norms are rules within a group indicating how its members should (or should not) behave
Adherence to norms is often necessary for gaining status and rewards
Cohesiveness: Forces that Bind
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Cohesivenessall the factors that bind members together and cause them to want to remain in
the group
Findings suggest that to the extent members identify with a group, the less likely they are to
leave it even if desirable options exist
Cohesive groups perform significantly better compared to noncohesive groups
Factors that influence cohesiveness
Status within the group (higher for high status members)
Effort required to gain entry into the group greatest cost means higher cohesiveness
Existence of external threats or severe competition threats increase commitment
Size small groups more cohesive
THE BENEFITS AND COSTS OF JOINING
Benefits of Joining
We gain self-knowledge from belonging to various groups; memberships tell people who we are
and becomes central to self-concepts
Groups provides boosts to status and self-esteem (prestigious groups) another reason why
people join specific groups
How important is status boosting? Depends on if a person is seeking
self-enhancement boosting their own public image to feel more superior (greater
degree equates to more importance of status boosting)
self-transcendencethe desire to help people, regardless of their status and to seek
goals of understanding others or social justice
Joining groups can help to accomplish social change
Survival advantage
Costs of Membership
Membership often restricts personal freedom members of various groups are expected to
behave a certain way (to follow group norms)
Groups make demands on a members’ time, resources and energy meet demands or
surrender membership
Groups can adopt policies or positions that some members might disapprove of which results
in them
Withdrawing from a group can be a major and costly step so why do it?
Sani & Reicher (2002) when individuals identify with a social group they often redraw the
boundaries of their self-concept to include other group members
Specific members sometimes withdraw from a group, or why groups themselves splinter
is because they decide to leave a group to form a new sub-group when they conclude
other members have changed sufficiently and they can no longer be viewed as ‘we’
Sani & Todman (2002) Church of England; women were ordained as priests and
resulted in hundreds of clergy leaving the church
Clergy who left church felt that it had changed so much that the organization was
not the same as they originally joined, and no longer represented their view
Felt no one would pay attention to their dissenting opinions so they had to leave
E.g. Stephen Harper was a liberal in highschool, but when Pierre Elliott Trudeau brought
the national energy program in 1980, Harper felt he could not remain liberal in his
political views
Groups change and when they do to an extent that members feel they can no longer identify
with the group, the members withdraw from the group which no longer possess the entiativity
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EFFECT OF THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS
We are strongly affected by the mere presence of others, even if we do not belong to formal groups
SOCIAL FACILITATION
Allport & Triplett suggested that performance was better when people worked in the presence of
others than when they worked alone
Triplett (1898)asked children to turn a crank on a fishing reel as quickly as possibly alone, or when
there were other children present
Triplett found that the children performed the task more quickly when there were other children
present compared to alone
Allport (1920)participants write down as many associations as they could think of to words printed
at the top of a paper
Worked for three 1-minute periods alone or in the presence of two others
93% produced more associations when working in the presence of others
Social facilitation: effects on performance resulting from the presence of others (performance being
enhanced)
Zajonc’s Drive Theory of Social Facilitation: Other People as a Source of Arousal
Just being in the presence of others in the form of an ‘interested audience’ can increase
our physiological arousal
When arousal increases, our tendency to perform dominant responsesones that are most
likely to occur in a given situation rises; which can be correct or incorrect for any given
situation
If the presence of an audience increases arousal, this factor will improve performance when the
dominant responses are correct for that situation, but impair performance when the dominant
responses are incorrect
This evaluation apprehension doesn’t apply to all cases Zajonc found that cockroaches would
run faster through a maze when other roaches were present (next to the maze)
Drive theory of social facilitation: a theory suggesting
that the mere presence of others is arousing and
increases the tendency to perform dominant responses
Does social facilitation stem from mere physical
presence of others, or is it concern about others’
evaluation of us?
Social facilitation does not occur if audience is
blindfolded or showed no interest
Evaluation apprehension: concern over being
evaluated by others, which can increase arousal and
therefore contribute to social facilitation.
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