TAMU PSYC 315 - Group Processes (4 pages)

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Group Processes



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Psych 315 1nd Edition Lecture 20 Outline of Last Lecture I Social Influences Outline of Current Lecture II Group Polarization III Pluralistic Ignorance IV Social Loafing V Social Facilitation Current Lecture Group Polarization Definition Discussion typically strengthens the average inclination of group members Example If the average of the initial positions of a group is more pro life than pro choice discussion will make the average member of the group develop an even more extreme pro life position than he or she had initially The more extreme a person s position is the more polarized they will be When they keep talking about their views it becomes more extreme They will become further convinced of the topic view People want to agree with everyone else so they jump in the wagon and have more extreme views than they did before Why does this happen Process 1 Informational influence The more arguments in favor of Alternative A that group members hear their own and others the stronger the evidence in favor of Alternative A seems to be This leads the many group members to take a more extreme position in favor of Alternative A Process 2 Normative Influence o Before a discussion begins people often think that the group will take a middle of the road not very extreme position on an issue of discussion If they learn that this is not true which often happens they no longer think that they have to be middle of the road in order to fit in with the overall group opinion o When people see a group converging around a more extreme position than they favor there sometimes is a bandwagon effect everyone states an opinion These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor s lecture GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes not as a substitute closer to the more extreme position held by the group so that they will seen to fit in with the others This is Asch type conformity Does this happen in real life Yes Try to think of some examples from your experience in groups My experience includes Discussing people who are applying to be faculty members in the Psyc department Pluralistic Ignorance People don t know the opinions attitudes preferences of others around them but assume that they do To fit in they act in ways that they think will win the approval of the others Pluralistic ignorance occurs when all members of a group hold the same incorrect opinion of what others in the group think and act accordingly o Example Everyone in teenage Group A smokes No one really wants to smoke but each person thinks everyone else likes smoking So each person smokes to fit in with the others The state of Deindividuation Definition Temporarily forgetting or setting aside what your attitudes preferences or values are and acting without them imposing a restraint on your behavior What causes deindividuation o Anonymity o Diffusion of responsibility o Energizing effect of others o Stimulus overload o Example Rock Concert Mardi Gras riots What is the state of deindividuation like Less power over behavior Lessened self observation and self evaluation Lessened concern for the evaluation of others Weakening of internal controls less concern with shame guilt fear etc What are the behavioral effects of deindividuation o o o o Impulsivity Irrationality Emotionality Antisocial activity What is the opposite of deindividuation Objective Self Awareness Focus attention on yourself Literally seeing yourself as others do Has the opposite effect of deindividuation it makes your behavior more consistent with your attitudes values etc Social Loafing Definition When working in groups in which one s individual efforts can t be assessed i e one is anonymous in a certain way we tend to exert less effort o This is in part due to diffusion of responsibility for task success o It is also due to less worry about being evaluated Social loafing when rewards are equal to all regardless of contributions public TV People work less when in a group It is difficult to tell how much each person contributes in a group making it easy to social loaf Loaf less when task is appealing and challenging when friends are involved when others are seen as unable to contribute when group is cohesive How is social loafing like deindividuation o Anonymity because individual efforts can t be measured o Diffusion of responsibility Examples of social loafing o Group projects in college Social Facilitation Tripplet s first social psychological experiment 1898 Definition When performing a task in the presence of others you will perform at a higher rate Also found among animals The others may be co actors or observers People in groups do tasks better than they would individually Dominant response simple and easy behaviors When doings dominant task they did it faster This works in animals and insects too Not facililated when group has to do complex activities But Problems arose Math problems philosophical reasoning maze learning among animals were not facilitated by the presence of others Along comes Zajonc Facilitates dominate responses not non dominate responses word guessing cockroaches Caused by arousal due to mere presence of others and in humans arousal associated with evaluation fears How is social facilitation like social loafing They re opposites How is social facilitation like deindividuation They are opposites at least in that social facilitation can t occur under conditions of anonymity or can t involve diffusion of responsibility


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