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PSYC 3430 Chapter Notes -Punctuated Equilibrium, Meta-Analysis, Hazing

Course Code
PSYC 3430
Peter Papadogiannis

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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
- 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,
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
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- 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
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
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