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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Group Processes.pdf

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Psychology 2070A/B

Chapter 8: Group Processes March-04-14 5:57 PM What is a Group? GROUP: A collection of three or more people who interact with one another and are interdependent, in the sense that their needs and goals cause them to rely on one another Why People Join Groups - An innate need to belong to social groups The Composition and Functions of Groups - Most social groups, however, range in size from three to six members - If groups become too large, you cannot interact with all of the members, and they are no longer considered a social group - The members tend to be alike in age, sex, beliefs, and opinions - There are two reasons for the homogeneity of groups: 1) Many groups attract people who are already similar before they join 2) Groups operate in ways that encourage similarity in the members Social Norms - Social norms are powerful determinants of human behavior, as shown by what happens if people violate them too often: they are shunned by other group members and, in extreme cases, pressured to leave the group Social Roles SOCIAL ROLES: Shared expectations by group members about how particular people in the group are supposed to behave - Norms specify how all group members should behave, roles specify how people who occupy certain positions in the group should behave - When members of a group follow a set of clearly defined roles, they tend to be satisfied and perform well Gender Roles - All societies have expectations about how people who occupy the roles of women and men should behave Group Cohesiveness GROUP COHESIVENESS: Qualities of a group that bind members together and promote liking among them How Groups Influence the Behavior of Individuals Social Facilitation: When the Presence of Others Energizes Us  STUDY:  Cockroaches and social facilitation  In the straightforward maze, the cockroaches had a simple task: to go from the starting point down the runway to the darkened box  They performed this feat faster when other roaches were watching than when they were alone  In the more complex maze, the cockroaches had a more difficult task — it took them longer to solve this maze when other roaches were watching than when they were alone Arousal and the Dominant Response 1) The presence of others increases physiological arousal (i.e., our bodies become more energized) 2) When such arousal exists, it is easier to do something that is simple (called the dominant response) but more difficult to do something complex or learn something new SOCIAL FACILITATION: The tendency for people to do better on simple tasks, but worse on complex tasks, when they are in the presence of others and their individual performance can be evaluated Why the Presence of Others Causes Arousal - Why does the presence of others lead to arousal? 1) Other people cause us to become particularly alert and vigilant 2) They make us apprehensive about how we're being evaluated 3) And they distract us from the task at hand - People are less predictable so we are in a state of greater alertness in their presence - This concern about being judged, called evaluation apprehension, can cause mild arousal — it is not the mere presence of others but the presence of others who are evaluating us that causes arousal and subsequent social facilitation - Any source of distraction will put us in a state of conflict because it is difficult to concentrate on what we are doing Social Loafing: When the Presence of Others Relaxes Us SOCIAL LOAFING: The tendency for people to do worse on simple tasks, but better on complex tasks, when they are in the presence of others and their individual performance cannot be evaluated Social Facilitation and Social Loafing Social facilitation Social loafing Test 2 Notes Page 1 Social facilitation Social loafing Gender and Cultural Differences in Social Loafing: Who Slacks Off the Most? - The tendency to loaf is stronger in men than in women → Women tend to be higher than men in relational interdependence, which is the tendency to focus on and care about personal relationships with others - Tendency to loaf is stronger in Western cultures than in Asian cultures which may be due to the self-definitions prevalent in these cultures Deindividuation: Getting Lost in the Crowd DEINDIVIDUATION: The loosening of normal constraints on behavior when people are in a group, leading to an increase in impulsive and deviantacts - "Disguises tend to make those wearing them capable of far more terrible acts of violence than would normally occur" Why Does Deindividuation Lead to Impulsive Acts? - Three factors: 1) The presence of others, or the wearing of uniforms and disguise, makes people feel less accountable for their actions because it reduces the likelihood that any individual will be singled out and blamed 2) The presence of others lowers self-awareness, thereby shifting people's attention away from their moral standards 3) Deindividuation also increases the extent to which people obey the group's norms — it is the specific norm of the group that determines whether deindividuation will lead to positive or negative behaviors Sports and Aggression: Does What You Wear Change Who You Are?  STUDY:  The children who were given orange shirts, and were therefore harder to tell apart, played handball significantly more aggressively than did the easier- to-identify children who wore their everyday clothing  Those who wore black uniforms showed greater aggressiveness than did those who wore any other color uniform Group Decisions: Are Two (or More) Heads Better than One? - In general, groups will do better than individuals if people are motivated to search for the answer that is best for the enti re group and not just for themselves, and if they rely on the person with the most expertise Process Loss: When Group Interactions Inhibit Good Problem Solving - A group will do well only if the most talented member can convince the others that he or she is right PROCESS LOSS: Any aspect of group interaction that inhibits good problem solving Failure to Share Unique Information - Tend to focus on the information they share and ignore uniqu
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