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Cohesion (5).docx

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PSYC 3430
Peter Papadogiannis

Chapter 5: Cohesion & Development Group Cohesion: there is no universally accepted definition for this term - A group level concept that is very dynamic - This concept has been an important factor in the study of group behaviour and its significance is often a source of motivation for group leaders - Cohesive groups are “unified”, have “high morale”, and members enjoy interacting with one another - Multi-component process with a variety of indicators – there is no such thing as a “typical” cohesive group - Higher cohesiveness does NOT necessarily mean higher level of performance; it signifies the group’s health (is there a divide?) Group Cohesion 1. Attraction: Festinger and his colleagues considered cohesion to be a form of attraction – positive attitudes towards members, in-group vs. out-group o Similarity principle: members of cohesive groups tend to like their fellow members o Hogg’s social attraction o Attraction b/w members and attraction to the group as a whole are BOTH important 2. Unity: cohesive groups stick together as members “cohere” to one another and the group o The group is unified, thus solidarity is high o Members report feeling a sense of “belonging” o Group Unity + Belonging = Unity 3. Teamwork: the combined activities of two or more individuals who coordinate their efforts to achieve goals o Collective efficacy + group morale = Teamwork Four interrelated processes that hold groups together: - Social relations - Task relations - Perceived unity - Emotions Definitions of Group Cohesion: - The early definitions reflected the notion that the unity of the individuals within a group was dependent solely on an individual’s attraction to the group - Attraction-to-group theory: does not take into consideration factors such as an individual being dissatisfied with the team, or hostility between individuals within the group – also does not take into account variables such as team adversity or team goal setting Carron, Brawley, and Widmeyer (1998): a dynamic process that is reflected in the tendency of a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit of its instrumental objectives and/or for the satisfaction of member needs Social Cohesion: the attraction of members to one another and to the group as a whole - Lewin (1943) – Cohesion: the forces that keep groups in tact by pushing members together as well as the countering forces that push them apart - Festinger, Schachter & Back (1950) – Group Cohesion: the total field of forces that act on members to remain in the group – when measuring cohesion, they focused on one force, “attraction” o Measured the ratio of in-group choices to out-group choices, the higher the ratio, the greater the cohesion - Back (1951) – Cohesiveness: the attraction that a group has for its members - Libo (1953) – Cohesiveness: the resultant forces acting on each member to remain in the group Multi-level… - When cohesion is linked to individual-level attraction and those who are liked leave the group, the remaining members are more likely to quit - When cohesion is based on group-level attraction, people remain members even when specific members leave the group Social Attraction (Hogg): a liking for other group members that is based on their status as typical group members – depersonalized as it is based on admiration for individuals who possess the kinds of qualities that typify the group Task Cohesion: capacity to perform successfully as a coordinated unit and as part of the group - Many theorists believe that cohesion has more to do with members’ willingness to work together to accomplish their objectives than it does with positive interpersonal relations Teamwork: the combined activities of two or more individuals who coordinate their efforts to make or do something – in many cases, each individual performs a portion of the task, which, when combined with others’ work, yields a total group product Collective Efficacy: the belief, shard among a substantial portion of the group members, that the group is capable of organizing and executing the actions required to attain the group’s goals and successfully complete its tasks Perceived Cohesion: the constructed coherence of the group; sense of belonging to the group; unity - Cohesive groups are “perceived” to be highly unified and integrated – individuals fused together to form a whole - Entitativity: those who encounter the group will be convinced that it is a unified, tightly boned group rather than a loose aggregation of individuals  Campbell’s Theory of Entitativity o Common Fate: do individuals experience the same outcomes? o Similarity: do individuals perform similar behaviours or resemble one another? o Proximity: how close together are the individuals in the group? - High perceived cohesion can be determined by the words that the group’s members use to describe the group o “We” rather than “I” o Spend a lot of time together, even when they do not have to o Refuse to differentiate among members – throw them under the bus Group Environmental Questionnaire: - Dimensions of Perceived Team Cohesion o Individual Attraction to the Group Task: member’s feelings about involvement with group task o Individual attraction to the group social: regard for acceptance and interaction with the group o Group integration task: member’s feelings about achieving group task o Group integration social: member’s feelings about the group as a social unit Perceived Cohesion Scale (individual vs. group perception) Emotional Cohesion: emotional intensity of the group and individuals when in the group - Collective Effervescence: as the positive and elevated mood of one person is picked up by the next, the group members eventually display a shared emotional experience - Esprit de Corps (Positive Affective Tone): a feeling of unity, commitment, confidence, and enthusiasm for the group shared by most of all of the members - Thought to be a multi-level process, as emotions can be collective reactions Antecedents of Cohesion 1. Interpersonal Attraction: groups often form when individuals develop feelings of attraction for one another 2. Stability of membership: cohesion increases the longer the members remain in the group o Open Groups: a group whose boundaries are so permeable that membership varies considerably as members enter and leave the group o Closed Groups: a group whose boundaries are closed and fixed; as a result, membership is relatively unvarying * often more cohesive 3. Group Size: the impact of group size on cohesion is a consequence of the sheer number
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