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Chapter 9

Social Psychology (Cdn Ed) Sanderson & Safdar Chapter 9

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY220H1
Professor
Ashley Waggoner Denton
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 9: Group Processes How Do Groups Influence Behavior? -Intragroup Processes: processes that happen within a group -Intergroup Processes: processes that occur between groups of people -Turner (1982)’s definition of group: “Two or more individuals perceive themselves to be members of the same social category” -Brown (2000)’s extension: “group exists when two or more ppl define themselves as members of it and when its existence is recognized by at least one other” • Notion of interconnectedness or shared outcomes important: E.g. shoppers at mall not considered a group, unless there’s disaster and shoppers are trapped with common predicament; spectators at sporting event not group but those that support the same team are (common group identity) -Study: individuals in group of ppl tip less than by themselves • Single ppl most generous at restaurant; parties of 4 or more least generous (calculated by avg); each individual person slightly reduces the size of his tip thinking that others will pick up the slack Social Facilitation -Social Facilitation: when ppl do better on a task in the presence of others than when they’re alone • E.g. Triplett (1898) saw that cyclists faster when they raced than alone; Study used children to wind string on fishing reel: children who performed this in front of others wound string faster than those who did it alone -Social Inhibition: when ppl do worse on a task in the presence of others than when alone • E.g. tasks include difficult tasks like typing name backwards with letters interspersed bw the letters of name -Zajonc’s Theory of Social Faciliation: the mere presence other ppl increases physiological arousal and this arousal enhances whatever a person’s dominant tendency is on a particular task • On well-learned easy tasks, dominant response is the correct one; high arousal leads to better performance • On difficult or unfamiliar tasks, high arousal leads to poorer perfomance -explanations to why presence of others leads to arousal: mere presence, evaluation apprehension and distraction 1. Mere Presence • Mere presence of other ppl is energizing (e.g. feel more energetic in aerobics class than aerobics alone) • Study: cockroaches performed simple maze faster in presence of other cockroaches than alone; but presence of other cockroaches disrupted performance on complex mas • Social facilitation also observed for chickens and fish (eating more) and rats (eating and copulating more) when in presence of others 2. Evaluation Apprehension • Some researchers believe social facilitation is not simply due to mere presence but by people’s concern about being evaluated by this audience • Study: Ss pronounced various nonsense words (easy task) under no audience condition, mere presence condition (confederate blindfolded and could not see the words participant was trying to pronounce) and audience condition (confederates could see words); Ss more accurate in audience condition than in either alone or mere presence condition (presence of evaluating audience is stronger influence on performance) • Presence of supportive audience can lead to worse performance on difficult tasks: Ss took math test while either friend or stranger watched; Ss felt less stress in front of friend but made more errors and took longer to complete it in front of friend • “Home Field Advantage” can be disadvantage: teams usually perform better at home but play badly when they must play decisive games at home (playing the championship; may become unfamiliar situation instead of familiar of just playing the sport) 3. Distraction • The presence of others may be distracting even when they’re not evaluating our performance, decreasing our ability to focus • If performing easy task, not problem, but for difficult task, impairs performance; e.g. ppl who are leaving parking space take longer to leave when someone is waiting for spot than when no one is waiting • Teens (find driving more difficult than older drivers) make more crashes when they’re driving with passengers than when driving alone • Study: Ss had to do easy task (putting on shoes) or difficult task (putting on ill fitting clothing) either alone, in front of inattentive person (confederate working on diff task) and watching audience (in front of experimenter); the mere presence of audience whether or not they were watching made Ss take less time to perform easy task and more time to perform difficult task: support for mere presence as explanation for social facilitation effects in this study o Evaluation apprehension did not lead to social facilitation effect bc the same effect was found in the unwatching audience condition as audience condition • Review of all relevant studies showed that 13% tested for mere presence, and concluded that mere presence produces social facilitation/inhibition effects only when the presence of others produces some sense of uncertainty in participant, either bc the others’ behavior is unpredictable or bc it cannot be monitored ** ask Social Loafing -Social Loafing: group-produced reduction in individual output on tasks where contributions are pooled (applies to ppl in individualistic cultures) -Study: Ss asked to cheer as loud as possible in soundproofed rooms; each made most noise when alone, and least noise when in group of 6 (vs. group of 2 or 4) -Restaurants impose mandatory tip when ppl are dining in large groups b/c social loafing might lead to lower tips -Collective Effort Model: says that people are motivated to exert effort in group tasks only when they believe their distinct efforts are identifiable, that these efforts will make a difference in the group’s success and when they’ll experience positive outcomes 1. Identifiable Contributions: belief that their own contributions will be recognized; when ppl socially loaf, they do it in part bc they can hide in the crowd • Making outputs identifiable reduces ppls tendency to withdraw effort in group setting: ppl don’t loaf when their own outputs will be evaluated, esp if these outputs will be compared to others’ outputs or if they’ll receive individual feedback about their efforts • Swimmers on relay team post faster times compared to swimming individual events when their own time is identified but slower when only the time of the team as whole is identified 2. Contributions’ Impact: whether you believe if you work harder, better performance will result • Ppl who must perform difficult and unique task for the group don’t reduce their effort even when their individual output will not be evaluated )can make unique and important contribution to group effort) • Ppl who believe that their efforts aren’t necessary for success of group tend to display less effort (e.g. ppl who believe their partner is capable of good performance but lazy are likely to reduce their own effort) 3. Task Importance: whether task is highly important to them • Likely to work hard on project even if others are not contributing much if important • Study: students told to evaluate proposal for implementing mandatory senior exams more likely to loaf if proposal would not be implemented for six years or at diff school than if proposal could be implemented at own school the next year • Social Compensation: When task very important, ppl motivated to work hard even when their own contributions are not identifiable, esp when they believe that other group members aren’t going to work; social compensation means ppl actually work harder to compensate for loafing o Study: Ss told that they would work w/ partner on test; Ss worked harder on group task (higher % of correct answers) when they had low expectations about their partner’s competence (e.g. a woman partner working on math test, man working on verbal test) than if they had high expectations about their partner’s competence (reverse) 4. Group Cohesion: morale, team spirit, and solidarity of the members of the group; cohesiveness transforms collection of individual ppl to members of a group • Highly cohesive groups perform better than less cohesive ones • Higher cohesion in squads associated with higher ratings of performance (e.g. planning and executing practice combat missions) • Higher cohesion associated w/ better performance for sport teams (e.g. team cohesion from national disaster might be why Jap women’s soccer team won 2011 FIFA world cup) • Become susceptible to effects of cohesion in early adolescence: cohesion affected group performance in 13 y/o but not 11 y/o; working effectively in group is developmental process, something that is learned How Do Intragroup Processes Influence Decision Making? Group Polarization -Group Polarization: when the initial tendencies of group members become more extreme following group discussion; lead groups to make riskier decisions if the direction of the group’s initial tendency is in the direction of risky decision • Risky shift: process by which groups tend to make riskier decisions than individuals would make alone • If group’s initial tendency is toward caution, the group becomes more cautious -two explanations for why group discussion lead groups to polarize in their views: 1. Hear More Persuasive Arguments • During discussions group members hear persuasive arguments that support their own views, including points they haven’t previously considered which can intensify their views • Simply repeating arguments during group discussion can also lead to greater attitude polarization • Group members likely to hear more number of persuasive arguments because they look for views that support their position o Study: asked managers to read study about company that was deciding whether to invest in starting production in developing company; groups were given list of articles both in favor of and against investment; groups that had individuals with the same view more interested in receiving articles that supported their decision; groups that had individuals with more discrepantviews showed more interest in receiving articles that opposed their eventual decision 2. Learn Group Norms • Group discussions lead us to more accurately assess the norms of our group • Most ppl want to fit in with but also be better than other members of their group so we might express even more extreme attitudes • Study: female Ss privately rated attractiveness of men in magazine photos; in control, confederates (other group members) didn’t give their responses; in +ve corrobation condition, confederates agreed with participant’s view; in contradiction condition, disagreed with participant’s view; next allowed to look at photos again and change rating; in +ve
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