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Chapter 2

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PSYC 3430
Peter Papadogiannis

Chapter 2 ARISTOTLE  humans are by nature group seeking animals Three basic activities that science requires: 1. Measurement 2. Research 3. Theorizing HOMAN  “Stretch nature out on the rack” by systematically measuring group phenomena and group processes Three critical requirements of a scientific approach to the study of groups: 1. The use of reliable and valid methods to measure group phenomena 2. Researchers must design research procedures to test their hypotheses about groups 3. Researchers must develop theories that organize their findings conceptually and comprehensively Measurement in Group Dynamics  Science often begin with measurement  Observation and Self Reporting measures Observation  Researchers who study groups often begin with observation o A measurement method that involves watching and recording individual and group actions  William Fort Whyte o Street corner gangs o Joined group  Nortons  Overt observation  openly watching and recording group behaviour with no attempt to conceal one’s research purposed  Covert observation  watching and recording group behaviour without the participant’s knowledge o Raises few ethical issues, as long as it does not violate people’s right to privacy o Institutional Review Board (IRB)  a group that is responsible for reviewing research procedures to make certain that they are consistent with ethical guidelines for protecting human participants  Participant Observation  watching and recording group behaviours while taking part in the social process Hawthorne effect:  A change in behaviour that occurs when individuals know they are being studied by researchers  Elton Mayo  Hawthorne Plant, Western Electric Company Qualitative Study:  A research procedure used to collect and analyze nonnumeric, unquantified types of data such as text, images or objects  Generates data o General qualities and characteristics rather than precise quantities and amounts o Verbal descriptions of group interactions o Interviews Structured Observational Methods:  A research procedure that classifies (codes) group members’ actions into defined categories Quantitative Study:  Numerical results  A research procedure used to collect and analyze data in a numeric form, such as frequencies, proportions or amounts BALES:  Developed 2 of the best known structures coding systems for studying groups 1. Interaction Process Analysis (IPA)  Used to classify group behaviour into task orientated and relationship orientated categories  1 of 12 categories  Observers using IPA must be able to listen to a group discussion, break content down intro behavioural units and then classify each unit into one of 12 categories 2. Systematic Multiple Level Observation of Groups (SYMLOG)  Newer version of IPA  26 different categories  Assumes that group activities can be classified along three dimensions: o Dominance vs. submissiveness o Friendliness vs. unfriendliness o Acceptance vs. opposition to authority Reliability  a measure’s consistency across time, components and raters Interrater Reliability  if different raters, working independently, all think the same thing Validity  the degree to which a measurement method assesses what it was designed to measure Self Report Measures  An assessment method, such as a questionnaire, test or interview, that asks respondents to describe their feelings, attitudes or beliefs Sociometry: o A research technique developed by MORENO, that graphically and mathematically summarizes patterns of intermember relations  Measures the relations between group members  Members are asked one or more questions • Their choices are then organized in a sociogram o Represented by circles, arrows o A diagram showing the relationship among group members o Populars or stars – well liked, very popular group members with a high choice status – they are picked by many other group members o Unpopulars – rejected members, identified as disliked by many members. Low choice status o Isolates – loners, infrequently chosen by any group members o Positives – sociables, select many others as their friends o Negatives – select few others as their friends o Pairs – two people who choose each other and so have reciprocal bonds o Clusters – individuals within the group who make up a subgroup or clique Reliability and Validity of Self Report Measures: o Questions must be worded properly to avoid lacking validity Research Methods in Group Dynamics 1. Case studies 2. Experimental studies  manipulates one or more aspects of group situation 3. Correlational studies  naturally occurring relationships between various aspects of groups CASE STUDIES  Research technique that involves examining, in a much detail as possible, the dynamics of a single group or individual  GROUPTHINK o A strong concurrence seeking technique that interferes with effective group decision making o IRVING JANIS  Loss of rationality caused by strong pressures to conform  Case studies focus on bona fide groups: o A naturally occurring group  Audience, club or team EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES Scapegoat:  An individual or group who is unfairly held responsible for a negative event and outcome  The innocent target of interpersonal hostility Experiment:  A research design in which the investigator manipulates at least one variable by randomly assigning participants to 2 or more different conditions and measuring at least one other variable Independent variable: o Aspects of the situation manipulated by researcher o The causal variable in a
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