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Western University
Sociology 2233
Brendan Murphy

Ch. 8 – Group Processes Group: collection of three or more people who interact with one another and are interdependent: needs and goals cause them to rely on one another -Two ppl = dyad not group Evolutionarily: survival advantage to forming bonds -Sense of belongingness associated with positive self-esteem, well-being and motivation -Those most strongly identified w/ group most likely to engage in social change -Most social groups have 3-6 members -This “smaller” number promotes interaction -Group members tend to be alike in age, sex, beliefs, opinions -Groups attract ppl who are alrdy similar before they join -Groups operate to encourage similarity in members Social Roles: shared expectations by group members abt how particular people in the group are supposed to behave -Norms: how ALL group members behave -Role of prison guard, anonymity, dehumanization contribute to inappropriate bhvr in exp -Traditional gender roles exist, women make 71.4 cents per dollar men make Group Cohesiveness: qualities of a group that bind members tgt and promote liking Social Facilitation: When Presence of Others Energizes Us -Mere presence of others improves performance on simple well-learned tasks -Inhibits performance for newer or more difficult tasks WHY? Robert Zajonc -Presence of others increases physiological arousal (bodies become energized) -When arousal exists, it’s easier to do smth simple (dominant response) but not difficult -Arousal leads us to feel flustered if it is a new task Social Facilitation: tendency for ppl 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 Presence of Others Causes Arousal: 1. Other ppl cause us to become particularly alert and vigilant 2. They make us apprehensive about how we’re being evaluated -Evaluation apprehension; concern abt being judged 3. They distract us from task at hand -Non-social sources of distraction have same effect as presence of ppl Social Loafing: When Presence of Others Relaxes Us Social Loafing: tendency for ppl 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 Ch. 8 – Group Processes -Computers can improve quality of group ideas -Allows interaction while remaining anonymous, thus reducing evaluation apprehension -But can lead to controversial ideas spiraling out of control -Social loafing stronger in men than women -BC women are higher in relational interdependence -Stronger in Western than Eastern cultures If individual efforts can be evaluated  no  relaxed  social loafing Whether task is simple or complex  social facilitation Deindividuation: loosening of normal constraints on behaviour when ppl are in a group, leading to increase in impulsive and deviant acts -Getting lost in a crowd, hiding behind anonymity -Disguises 1. Presence of others, or wearing of uniforms/disguises makes ppl feel less accountable for their actions b/c it reduces the likelihood of any individual being singled out and blamed 2. Presence of others lowers self-awareness, shifting attn. away from their moral standards 3. Deindividuation increases obedience of group norms Group Decisions: Are two or more heads better than one? -Yes when they are motivated to search for answer that’s best for entire group and not just for themselves -And when they rely on person w/ most expertise Process Loss: any aspect of group interaction that inhibits good performance -Failure to identify more competent member -Communication prblms -Failure to share unique info Solution: assign group members to diff areas of expertise so they know they are alone / responsible for certain types of info -More likely to share info later on & receive attn. from other members Transactive memory: combined memory of two ppl that’s more efficient than memory of either individual Groupthink: kind of thinking where maintaining group cohesiveness and solidarity is more impt than consider facts in a realistic manner Most likely to occur under certain preconditions: 1. Group is highly cohesive 2. Isolated from contrary opinions 3. Ruled by directive leader who makes his/her wishes known -When conditions are met, group begins to feel invulnerable and can do no wrong -Self censorship: members don’t voice contrary views Ch. 8 – Group Processes -Esprit de
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