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Chapter 7

PSYC 231 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Transactional Leadership, Social Comparison Theory, Transformational Leadership

Course Code
PSYC 231
Carrie Kobelsky

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group: 2 or more people who (for longer than a few moments) interact with
& influence one another
-perceive themselves as “us” rather than “them”
-different types meet different human needs (ex. to affiliate, to achieve, to
gain a social identity)
-co-actors: a group of people working simultaneously & individually on
a non-competitive task
social facilitation: the mere presence of others
-use to believe that people would tend to perform simple or well-learned
tasks better when others are present
-now is the strengthening of the dominant/prevalent/likely response due
to the presence of others
-the presence of others will either arouse or energize you, depending on
the complexity of the task
-others’ presence arousal strengthening dominant response
enhancing easy behaviour or impairing difficult behaviour
-higher performing teams are more likely to win or tie for home games
-crowding: the presence of many others
the effect of others’ presence increase with their number
being in a crowd intensifies both negative & positive reactions
crowding enhances arousal, which facilitates dominant responses
-possible explanations for why we feel aroused:
(i) evaluation apprehension: concern for how others are
evaluating us & wanting to make the right choice
the enhancement of dominant responses occurs when people
think they are being evaluated
also interfere with behaviours we perform best automatically
(ii) driven by distraction — conflict between paying attention to
others & paying attention to the task overloads our genitive
system, causing arousal
this “distraction” can also come from non-human sources
(iii) mere presence — the mere presence of others just activates an
instinct social arousal mechanism, common in all animals
we get competitive & motivated by their presence
-is effective because individual efforts are being evaluated
social loafing: tendency for people to exert less effort when they pool their
efforts toward a common goal that when they are individually accountable
-everyone agrees that it occurs, but no one admits to doing it
-the amount of effort decreases as the group size increases
-free-ride: benefiting from the group, but giving little in return
-being in a group-setting reduces evaluation apprehension because they feel
they are not accountable & cannot be evaluated on their own efforts, so
the feeling of responsibility therefore also decreases
-people exert more effort when their outputs are individually identifiable
-occurs in all cultures, though less so in collectivist cultures than
individualistic cultures
-women who identify as less individualistic exhibit less social loafing
-may also occur when rewards are divided equally, regardless of how
much effort you put in
-social loafing is less likely to occur when:
the task is challenging, appealing, involving, or competitive
the group is small & people feel their opinions are valued
when fellow group members are friends, you identify with them, you
will interact again with them, or are indispensable to the group
they are convinced that high rewards will be rewarded
de-individuation: the loss of self-awareness & evaluation apprehension, &
the complete sense of loss of responsibility
-occurs in group situations that foster anonymity & draw attention away
from the individual
-the result of arousal, diffused responsibility, & diminished inhibition
-elicited by different circumstances:
(i) group size — the larger the crowd & more sense of anonymity,
the less evaluation apprehension
things become attributed to situation rather than the person
(ii) physical anonymity — not being able to be identified
being anonymous makes one less self-conscious, & more
responsive to cues present in the situation (both negative or
positive) therefore can lead to affection or violence
group immersion + physical anonymity = the greatest
amount of de-individualization
(iii) arousing & distracting activities — impulsive group actions
absorb our attention & make us just react to the immediate
situation & our current emotions
-result in diminished self-awareness (the opposite of de-
individualization, in which one exhibits increased self-control & actions
more clearly reflect their attitudes)
therefore decreased self-awareness results in increased de-
individualization, which results in a greater disconnect between
behaviour & our attitudes
group polarization: group-produced enhancement of members’ pre-
existing tendencies
-strengthening of members’ average tendency, not a split within the group
-if you are already in favour of something, you become even more so (&
vice versa)
-risky shift phenomena: group decisions are often risker after the
group decides by consensus, & after these brief discussions, individuals
too alter their prior decision
-discussions with like-minded people increase the initial gap between them
& the opposing view
together they refuse to look at contrary information
-occurs in schools — result of members reinforcing shared inclinations
accentuation phenomena: overtime, initial differences among
students become even more apparent
-occurs in the community — like-minded people associate increasingly
with one another, amplifying their shared beliefs
-occurs on the internet — makes it easier for small groups of like-minded
people to rally together
-occurs in terrorist organizations — terrorism arises among people
who share grievances, which bring them together & fuel their fire
as they interact with one another way from moderating influences,
they become increasingly more extreme, which results in group acts
that the individual, apart from the group, would have never done
-2 possible explanations for group polarization:
(i) informational influence: group discussions elicit a pooling of
ideas, most of which favour the dominate view point
the best supported explanations
active participation in group discussions produces more
attitude change & commitment to what one says
the more other group members repeat someone’s belief, the
more they are rehearsed & validated
employs the central route by making strong arguments
also employs the peripheral route through the person
delivering the argument, repetition, etc.
work better on issues that have factual elements
(ii) normative influence: we express stronger opinions after
discovering that other people also share our view, because we
them to like us
occurs when you only learn someone’s position & not their
argument for it
sways responses on value-laden judgments
social comparison: evaluate our opinions & abilities by
comparing them to those of others
pluralistic ignorance: a false impression of how other
people are thinking, feeling or responding
-the result of self-serving biases
however, typically more than one factor is at work — discovering that
others share our feeling (social comparison & normative influence) unleashes
arguments (informational influence)
PSYC 231: Chapter 7 - Group Influence
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