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Psych 288 Chapter 9: Group Processes

by: mkennedy24

Psych 288 Chapter 9: Group Processes Psych 288

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These notes cover what was said in lecture as well as information from the book. There are several examples and definitions to help with understanding.
Psychology of Social Behavior
Dr. S. Gervais
Class Notes
Psych 288, psych, Psychology of Social Behavior, Psychology, Social Behavior, social psychology
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by mkennedy24 on Wednesday April 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 288 at University of Nebraska Lincoln taught by Dr. S. Gervais in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Social Behavior in Psychlogy at University of Nebraska Lincoln.


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Date Created: 04/13/16
Chapter 9: Group Process – Influence in Social Groups  Section 9.1 Objective: What are groups and why do people join them?  What is a Group? o Group: Two or more people who interact and are interdependent in the sense that their needs and goals cause them to influence each other o Why do People Join Groups?  The need to be accepted  Need to feel distinctive to those who are not in the same groups  Why people are in frat/sororities  to belong to a smaller group to fulfill the need to belong and be distinctive  Groups help establish social norms  Implicit and explicit rules for acceptable behavior  Groups become an important part of our identity o The Compositions and Functions of Groups  Social Norms  Each group has social norms  Whether to consume alcohol or what sororities/ frats are rivals  Social Roles: Shared expectations in a group about how particular people are supposed to behave  Concerns people who occupy certain positions in the groups behavior  Example: Boss and Employee  Example: Stanford Prison Experiment o The “prisoners” and “guards” quickly adapted to their given social roles while knowing that what they were participating in was an experiment not real life. “They became the role(s) they played” o Social Roles can sometimes lead to personality changes and personal identity changes  Group Cohesiveness: Qualities of a group that bind members together and promote liking between them  How well the group flows  “Would you rather go out with a group you don’t care about or a tight-knit bunch of friends you like?”  Group Diversity  Groups tend to be alike in age, sex, beliefs, and opinions  People are attracted to people like them  McLeod, Lobel, and Cox study (1996) o All white groups  The “All White” groups tended to be more cohesive o African American, Asian, Latino, and White groups  More diverse groups were not as cohesive but tended to perform at a more optimal level as in bringing in better opinions and ideas that would work  Section 9.2 Objective: In what ways do individuals perform differently when other is around?  Individual Behavior In a Group Setting o Social Facilitation: When the presence of others energizes us  Michael (1982)  4 students observed either novice or experienced pool players play pool Light  People who were bad performed worse when they were watched  Those who were good did even better than before  E.g. Observing an athletic contest, how can they do so well? o Athletes have done it before and are good at it so the crowd helps  Cockroach Study Light Glass Wall  Several cockroaches were put into a box where at one end there was a bright light and at the other there was a hole to get into a dark box. As we all know, cockroaches do not like bright light, so they would hurry to the hole that leads into a dark box.  At first just one was put into the box.  In another scenario, cockroaches were behind a glass wall “watching” the one cockroach get away from the light  In another scenario, more than one cockroach was put into the box.  Then, the researchers made a more difficult box where there were four paths and the entrance into the dark box was not directly behind the bright light.  Each scenario was attempted again in this box. o As it turns out, the mere presence of other cockroaches increased the performance in the first, more simple box, BUT in the second more difficult box, the mere presence of other cockroaches decreased performance.  Simple versus Difficult Tasks  The harder the task and the more people or even having the presence of others decreases performance  Arousal and the Dominant Response  Social Facilitation: When people are in the presence of others and their individual performance can be evaluated, the tendency to perform better on simple tasks, and worse on complex tasks  Why the Presence of Others Causes Arousal o Three Theories  Other people cause us to become particularly alert and vigilant  While studying for an exam, it is better to do it alone when the material is new and hard because the presence of others make us more alert causing us to be alert of another person and not having full attention on the material we’re studying  They make us apprehensive about how we’re being evaluated  We judge how we do on how other people do  We figure out the difficulty on a task based on how other people do it  They distract us fro the task at hand  Studying while roommate listens to loud music o Psychology Exam Example  You have been studying hard for your psychology exam and are confident you know the material. You go to take you psychology exam and when you get to the classroom you are assigned to take it in, you see it is packed and everyone is sitting elbow to elbow. When you sit down, you’re professor mentions that there is another room down the hall if anyone is uncomfortable with the close quarters.  What should you do? Go to the other room with less people and more space or stay in the cramped room?  It would be better to stay in the cramped room because since you know the material well, the test should be a simple task meaning the presence of others should increase your score  Social Loafing: When the Presence of Others Relaxes Us o Social Loafing: When people are in the presence of others and their individual performance cannot be evaluated, the tendency to perform worse on a simple task or unimportant tasks but better on complex ones  Clapping  Cheering  People slack off when in a group because why put in effort if I can’t be evaluated  Worse on simple tasks because it’s anon  Better on complex tasks because relaxation reduces evaluation apprehension and allows people to relax and perform better o Research on Deindividuation  Trick or treaters (Diener 1976)  Stole extra money or candy o In groups: 57% o Alone: 21%  Stole Less candy (Beaman 1979)  When a mirror behind candy bowl  Gender and Cultural Differences in Social Loafing: Who Slacks off the Most? o Tendency to loaf was found more likely in men than women  Women tend to be higher in relational interdependence than men o Loafing stronger in Western cultures than Asian Cultures  Two Things to Predict Whether the Presence of Other Will Help or Hinder your Performance: o Whether your individual efforts can be evaluated o Whether the task is simple or complex  Deindividuation: Getting Lost in the Crowd o Deindividuation: The loosening of normal constraints on behavior when people cant be identified (such as when they are in a crowd)  KKK  Cyber bullying  “Mob Mentality” o Deindividuation Makes People Feel Less Accountable  Recognizing no individual will be singled out and blamed leaves people feeling less accountable for their actions o Deindividuation Increases Obedience to Social Norms  Increases adherence to the local group norms  Everyone at a party is dancing and it is dark and you’re dressed similarly to everyone else there, so you will most likely let loose on the dance floor o Deindividuation Online  Cyber Bullying  Group Decisions: Are Two (or More) Heads Better than One? o Section 9.3 Objective: Are two (or more) heads better than one in decision-making and how do leaders shape group outcomes? o Process Loss: When Group Interactions Inhibit Good Problem Solving  Can occur for a number of reasons:  Members may not try to find out who the most competent member is and instead rely on someone who doesn’t really know what he/she is talking about  Communication Problems: o People don’t listen to each other o On person dominates  Failure to share unique information  Stasser and Titus (1985) o Transactive Memory: The combined memory of a group that is more efficient than the memory of the individual members  One member remembers social events, on remembers when to pay the bills Antecedents of Symptoms Defective Decision- Groupthink Making -Illusion of Vulnerability: Group can do no wrong -The Group is highly cohesive: The group is valued and attractive and -Belief in Moral Correctness: people very much want to be “God is on our side” members -Stereotyped Views of Out - Incomplete survey -Group Isolation: The group Group: Opposing sides are is isolated, protected from viewed in a simplistic, of Alternatives hearing alternative stereotyped manner - Failure to examine viewpoints -Self Censorship: “Don’t rock risks the Boat” -A Directive Leader: The leader controls discussion -Direct Pressure: People who - Poor Information and makes his/her wishes give contrary opinions are Search known pressured to conform with majority -High Stress: The members -Failure to Develop perceive threats to the group Contingency Plans -Illusion of Unamity: Everyone -Poor Decision Making agrees – For example: Not calling Procedures: No standard on people known to disagree methods to consider alternative viewpoints -Mindguards: Group members protect leader from contrary viewpoints o Failing to share important information known only to some members can be overcome IF people learn who is responsible for what info and take the time to discuss unshared data  Groupthink: Many Heads, One Mind  Groupthink: A kind of decision process in which maintaining group cohesiveness and solidarity is more important than considering the facts in a realistic matter (Irving Janis: Influential Theory) o Most likely to occur when certain preconditions are met:  Highly cohesive  Isolated from contrary opinions  Ruled by a directive leader who makes his/her wishes known o JFK and Bay of Pigs Invasion o After all conditions are met:  The group begins to feel that it is invulnerable  People exercise self censorship  Ways to make groupthink less likely:  Remain Impartial: A leader should not take a directive role  Seek Outside Opinions: Group should invite outside opinions from non-member  Create Subgroups: Divide group into subgroups that meet separately and then meet for a final time all together again  Seek Anonymous Opinions o Group Polarization: Going to Extremes  Group Polarization: The tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclination of their members  Group polarization occurs for two main reasons:  Persuasive Argument Interpretation  Social Comparison Interpretation o Leadership in Groups  Great Person Theory: The idea that key personality traits make a person a good leader, regardless of the situation  Leadership Styles:  Transactional Leaders: Leaders who set clear short-term goals and reward people who meet them  Transformational Leaders: Leaders who inspire followers to focus on common, long-term goals o I enable others to think about old problems in new ways o I help others develop themselves  The Right Person in the Right Situation  Contingency Theory of Leadership: o The idea that the effectiveness of a leader depends both on how task oriented or relationship oriented a leader is and the amount of control the leader has over the group  Two kinds of leaders the theory argues: o Task-Oriented Leaders: Concerned more about getting the job done than with worker’s feelings and relationships o Relationship-Oriented Leaders: Concerned more with worker’s feelings and relationships  Gender and Leadership  “Glass Cliff”  “Glass Ceiling”  Conflict and Cooperation o Section 9.4 Objective: What determines the likelihood that individuals or group conflict will escalate or be resolved o Zero-Sum: Sports contests, poker games. Add up wins and losses, get zero  One loser, one winner (pure competition) o Mixed Motives: Both sides can win, both can lose, one can win and one can lose  Example: A buyer and seller bargain over the price of a car  Both win: You get a good car; salesperson gets a deal  Both lose: You don’t get your dream car; salesperson doesn’t get a deal  One win: you get cheated and salesperson gets money o Social Dilemmas  “What is best for the individual is not always the best for the group”  Social Dilemma: A conflict in which the most beneficial action for an individual will, if chosen by most people, have harmful effects on everyone  Tit-For-Tat Strategy: A mean of encouraging cooperation by at first acting cooperatively but then always responding the way your opponent did (cooperatively or competitively) on the previous trial o Negotiation and Bargaining  Negotiation: A form of communication between opposing sides in a conflict in which offers and counteroffers are made and a solution occurs only when both parties agree  Negotiating car prices  Integrative Solution: Solution to a conflict whereby the parties make trade-offs on issues, with each side conceding the most on issues that are unimportant to it but important to the other side


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