Textbook Notes (362,880)
Canada (158,081)
Psychology (4,729)

Psychology 2720A/B CHP 10: Group Dynamics and Intergroup Relations

7 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Psychology 2720A/B
Clive Seligman

CHP 10: Group Dynamics and Intergroup Relations - Group dynamics: the social psychological study of groups and group processes - Group: two or more people who are interacting or influencing one another - Think about it as a continuum from little – a lot of group character INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE AND BEHAVIOUR IN GROUP SETTINGS Social Facilitation: The Effect of an Audience - 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 - E.g. Triplett and the fishing reel study - Zajonc found the diff between simple/complex tasks - Dominant response: the action that is most likely to occur in a situation or on a task when the individual is alone - Proposed the presense of other people is physically arousing b/c their anxious about performing well – this can restrict attention; o When task is simple, distractions are blocked o Complex, difficult to attend to all necessary cues - E.g. number task – given a chance to learn, Ps preformed better - For studying; if the material is relatively simple, studying in the library might help narrow your focus Social Loafing: Goofing Off When Others Can Do The Work - One perpective; possible that being in a group will increase our efforts by motivating us - Another; might slack off and let others do the work - Social loafing: the reduction of effort people often exhibit when working in a group where individual contributions are unidentifiable o Larger group = less effort o E.g. screaming study – people lead to believe they were with others screamed more quietly - People are less likely to loaf when the group is important or meaningful to them o E.g. members of political campaign teams - Cohesiveness/attractiveness is also important – group w/ friends/people who are attractive will increase motivation - It is both intentional and unintentional – e.g. a student v. someone in the cheering task Gender and Culture in Social Loafing. - Men are more likely to loaf - Studies comprised of groups only of women have found no loafing at all - Possibly b/c women are more group oriented and more concerned about collective outcomes then men - If this is correct individualistic cultures may also be more inclined to loaf because they are less concerned w/ group outcomes Deindividuation: Immersion in a Group - Deindividuation: a psychological state in which people lose their sense of personal identity and feel immersed in a group o People get caught up in the actions around them o Wearing similar clothes increases deindividuation o When people are in this state they are more likely to engage in socially undesirable ways - Perspectives: o Deindividuation weakens peoples inhibitions against performing harmful/socially disapproved actions  Used as an excuse by some lawyers o It heightens peoples responses to external cues o It increases peoples adherence to norms that emerge in a group - Candy bar experiment – anonymity produced deindividuation, especially when they were in a group - In prisons – guards may act maliciously – Zimbardo study with a simulation prison got so bad it had to be shut down after 6 days - Perspective; deindividuation increases people responsiveness to external cues, such as noticeable features of the setting, and these cues might sometimes be prosocial in nature o E.g. experiment w/ name tags and KKK/nurse outfits – situational cues told Ps how to act – nonametags = less aggression in nurses, more aggression in KKK members - State of deindividuation can occur on the internet DECISION MAKING IN GROUPS Groupthink: Bad Decisions From Pressure To Agree - Groups have access to more information and multiple perspectives – but they do not always make good choices - Sometimes correct thing to do is uncertain, or any/all of the options involve risk - Bad decisions can still be made when group has all the necessary info o These result from poor group functioning – they engage in biased or faulty reasoning - Groupthink: a way of thinking that can occur in decision-making groups when pressure to agree leas to inadequate appraisal od options and poor decisions o Everyone believes everyone else strongly supports the decision - Group cohesiveness: the combined strength of all forces acting on members of a group to remain in the group o People are motivated to remain in the groups b/c they like other members, group is prestigious, or they receive tangible benefits o Members of highly cohesive groups do not want to be excluded, which leads them to conform nd and avoid criticizing others ideas - 2 Important factor for groupthink is a directive leader – they openly express their own opinions and control conversation in the group o Group members know exactly where that person stands, which puts pressure on them to agree rdo Because these leaders are in control, it can be difficult for others to raise questions/concerns - 3 Factor is high stress which can arise from o External threats or severe time pressure o More pressure to follow leader’s opinions Symptoms of Groupthink. - 8 Symptoms of groupthink – reflect members’ desires to agree and to maintain a positive group feeling 1. An illusion of vulnerability; group feels invisible, tends to make risky decisions 2. Rationalization of warnings; warning signals are discounted/seen as harmless – connected to #1 3. An unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of the group; fail to recognize that self interest may be colouring its judgments – ignore ethical aspects 4. Stereotyped views of enemy leaders; if a group views them as “evil” they become unwilling to negotiate, if they view them as stupid/weak they may make foolish decisions – contributes to #1 5. Pressure on group members who challenge consensus; results in exclusion of important information from the discussion in favour of harmony 6. Self-censorship of misgivings, questions, and counter arguments; can also result in exclusion of important info 7. Illusion of unanimity; believe that everyone agrees with a decision (partly because of 5&6) – further inhibits discussion 8. Emergence of self-appointed mindguards; people who protect the “mind” of the leader by shielding him/her from criticisms voluntarily - E.g. problem in Walkerton with E.coli – people responsible o Viewed system as invulnerable (1) o They rationalized warnings – dismissing test results (2) o Did not realize ethic responsibilities to the public (3) o PUC accepted reports without rocking the boat (5) o Lead other members to believe everything was OK (7) Avoiding groupthink. 1. Leader should be nondirective and allow other group members to express their opinions before stating his/her view 2. A norm of openness and candour should be established in the group – all suggestions must be evaluated thoroughly (devil’s advocate – one role is to question everything) 3. People from outside the group should be included in the decision making process Empirical Tests of Groupthink Predictions. - Have found highly cohesive groups discourage dissent and produce more confident decisions (as predicted) but they also report les self-censorship (inconsistent with predictions) - For leadership style, evidence supports hypothesis that an open style is likely to produce a better and more broadly based decision than a directive one - Also found more information is considered when there is a norm of critical thinking v. a norm of consensus seeking - Individual differences have been found; some people actually prefer and respond more positively to directive leaders Group Polarization: Moving Towards the Majority View - Group polarization: the tendency for group discussion to strengthen the initial leanings of the members of the group - Study found after discussion even more students recommend coach should try risky behaviour and parent shouldn’t - If people share a common stereotype – discussing it will tend to reinforce it Causes of Group Polarization. - Explanation 1: majority of the arguments given in a discussion will be for the majority view – people are easily persuaded - Explanation 2 (can go with 1): people desire to appear knowledgeable – social pressure causes people to agree with majority o These parallel concepts of informational and normative influence - Schuller – focused on expert testimony about the concept of battered woman syndrome – when women have been repeatedly abused they develop an emotional state that can cause them to have sudden, extreme aggression against their husband – juries are significantly more lenient in their judgments about women when this is used in court IN YOUR LIFE: Polarization in the Courtroom - Important qualification for group polarization effects in juries, it occurs more strongly for verdicts of innocent than guilty - Possibly due to the idea one must not be convicted until it can be proven “beyond reasonable doubt” Minority Influence: The Power of the Few Confidence and Persistence. - Moscovici argued that minorities can be successful only if they are firm & absolute in their positions – confident and will not yield to majority pressure - Avoid appearing too rigid, extremist or impervious to information - Must be seen as reasonable and logical – a way to do this is agree with majority on other issues Unique Effect of Minority Influence? - Divergent thinking (produced by minorities) – novel, creative thoughts that consider alternative approaches to a problem - Convergent thinking (produced by majority) – standard/typical approaches to a problem - E.g. colour & line judgements – Ps exposed to minority view in the colour task were less likely to conform on the line-judging task – this increased willingness to disagree Social Impact Theory. - Social impact theory – people experience “social pressures” on them much like physical forces exert pressure on them - Say that minorities have some sort of special impact - it is because of the strength/closeness of relationships with others o E.g. views are often unexpected which may increase strength LEADERSHIP Definitions of Leader and Leadership Effectiveness Defining a Leader. 1. In some groups the leader is the person who holds a formal position of authority – easy to identitfy e.g. prime ministers, a judge, a chairperson on committee 2. If there is no formal leadership position, another way is decide by what members say, whoever gets the most “votes” 3. In terms of impact on a group a. Transformational leaders: individuals who produce fundamental changes in how members of a group view themselves and the group b. E.g. mother Teresa or Trudeau Functions fulfilled by leaders. - Task Achievement functions: aspects of leadership that relate to group productivity;
More Less

Related notes for Psychology 2720A/B

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.