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Group Influence. Group: Two or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as “us”.

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Presentation on theme: "Group Influence. Group: Two or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as “us”."— Presentation transcript:

1 Group Influence

2 Group: Two or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as “us”. I. Social Facilitation versus Social Hindrance A. Social Facilitation: an individual’s tendency to perform better on an easy task or well learned task when in the presence of other people than when performing that task alone. B. Social Hindrance: an individual’s tendency to perform worse on a difficult task or a task that is not well learned when in the presence of other people than when performing that task alone.

3 1) Zajonc… arousal and the task at hand. Social Facilitation Social Hindrance Playing Pool Cockroaches too?! Offices versus Cubicles

4 II. Crowds A. Human Territoriality: when a specific space is marked out and defended against intrusion from others. 1) Primary territories are places over which the occupant has exclusive control. 2) Secondary territories are areas shared with others but over which regular users have considerable control. 3) Public territories are uncontrolled areas that are used by whoever is the first to arrive. Home Court Advantage

5 III. Social Loafing: the tendency for people to exert less effort when they pool their efforts toward a common goal than when they are individually accountable. Cheering for your team Tug-of-war

6 So what is the typical rate of decline in terms of individual effort matched with group size? Cultural and Sex Differences Social Loafing by the Beatles

7 A. Why do we loaf? 1)The Collective Effort Model: people get lazy if they don’t expect their efforts to lead to personally valued outcomes or if they don’t think their efforts will be instrumental in obtaining those outcomes. 2) The Free Ride Effect: when they can get away with it, people try to benefit from the efforts of others. 3) The Sucker Effect: when people believe that they are getting taken advantage of, they exert less effort because they suspect others may be taking a free ride. B. Social loafing can be reduced. 1) Cohesion: “we feeling”; the extent to which members of a group are bound together, such as through identification. 2) Evaluation: when people believe they’ll be individually evaluated on their performance, they’ll work harder than they will if they were not being evaluated.

8 C. Social Compensation: when cohesion and evaluation are absent, a person who cares about the quality of the group product will expend greater effort to compensate for others in the group who are performing inadequately.

9 IV. Deindividuation: the feeling of anonymity and reduced sense of ourselves as individuals that can occur when people are in groups and/or anonymous; it leads to a loosening of normal constraints on behavior and an increase in impulsive and deviant acts. A. Group Size: the larger the group the more its members lose self-awareness and become willing to commit atrocities. B. Physical Anonymity: being anonymous makes one less self-conscious, more group-conscious, and more responsive to cues present in the situation, whether negative or positive.

10 Trick or Treat! Role-Playing Deindividuation and Intimacy

11 V. Group Polarization: Group-produced enhancement of members’ preexisting tendencies (typically via discussion); a strengthening of the members’ average tendency, not a split within the group. So group polarization is NOT what’s referred to as a… A. Schism: the splintering of a group into distinct factions following an ideological rift among members.

12 B. Why does group polarization happen? 1) Social Comparison Theory: group polarization occurs because we want our position to be consistent with the group we compare ourselves to. 2) Persuasive Arguments Theory: the position that has the largest number of arguments supporting it will pull group members further along in the direction of those arguments. 3) Repeated Expressions Theory: having people in a group individually ruminate or state their positions over and over again will also move the group towards greater polarization.

13 VI. Groupthink: mode of thinking that people engage in when agreement-seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive in-group that it tends to override a realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action. A. Key Characteristics of Groupthink 1) An illusion of invulnerability 2) Unquestioned belief in the group’s morality 3) Closed-mindedness 4) Self-censorship and conformity pressure

14 B. Black Sheep Effect: the tendency of an in-group to treat or evaluate a nonconforming member of its own more harshly than a similarly nonconforming out-group member. C. Why does groupthink happen? 1) Group Locomotion Hypothesis: if you feel that going along with your group will help it to achieve its goals, you conform. 2) Consistency Theory: cognitive dissonance arises if you disagree with a group you like. So, you conform to reduce dissonance. 3) Hedonistic Hypothesis: you conform to either decrease pain or increase pleasure.

15 VII. Group Problem Solving A. Brainstorming in groups, especially large groups, can lead to a number of problems… 1) Social Loafing 2) Conformity due to normative influence 3) Production Blocking: losing one’s ideas while waiting for one’s turn to speak.

16 B. Most productive sequence for group problem solving… 1) Have a brief group brainstorming session to prime ideas and the creative process. 2) Have all group members then separate and work alone to generate ideas for solving the problem at hand. 3) Reconvene allowing each member to share the ideas he or she privately generated. 4) Discuss, weigh options, and eventually choose a course of action.

17 VIII. Minority Influence: The Antithesis of Groupthink A.Minority Influence: those who hold an unpopular opinion eventually change the attitudes of those who hold the majority opinion. B. What facilitates the influence of minorities? 1) Self-Confidence 2) Defections from the Majority: a minority person who defects from the majority is more persuasive than a consistent minority voice.

18 C. Is Leadership Minority Influence? 1) Task leadership: organizes work, sets standards, and focuses on goals. 2) Social leadership: builds teamwork, mediates conflict, and offers support. 3) Transformational leadership: leadership that, enabled by a leader’s vision and inspiration, exerts significant influence.

19 IX. Cults Cult: a group typically characterized by (1) distinctive rituals and beliefs related to its devotion to a god or a person (2) isolation from the surrounding “evil” culture (3) a charismatic leader. A. Four Stages of Indoctrination 1) Softening-up Stage: the victim is showered with affection and praise during moments of weakness. 2) Compliance: the victim starts testing the waters of the cult’s practices. 3) Internalization: the victim starts to really believe the ideas of the cult. 4) Consolidation: the victim demonstrates unconditional allegiance to the cult.

20 What facilitates the movement from stage 1 all the way to stage 4? Key Factors… B. People who are lost in life, looking for meaning, suffered a major loss, etc., are easy targets for cults. C. Individuals are more likely to conform to a cult when their indoctrination into the cult is difficult or intense. D. Using the Foot-in-the-Door tactic: Gradual Induction

21 E. Cult leader’s credibility and attractiveness are established. F. Sending members out to proselytize the unredeemed. G. Distracting members from thinking “undesirable” thoughts… counter-arguments. H. Fixating members’ vision on a phantom.


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