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Group Dynamics Joe Smetter, Brandon Vaca, and Kristin Wakin.

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Presentation on theme: "Group Dynamics Joe Smetter, Brandon Vaca, and Kristin Wakin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Group Dynamics Joe Smetter, Brandon Vaca, and Kristin Wakin

2 Our Closest Living Relatives Humans What traits do we share? Phylogenic Tree of Hominoids

3 What do we have in common? Genetic overlap Share 98.8% of the same genes Emotions Tool use Primitive yet effective spears Termite fishing Problem-solving abilities Ape Genius Ability to mimic behaviors Social learning Communication

4 Shared Traits 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Remarkable short-term memory

5 Cooperation Definition Working together to accomplish a shared goal Examples Hunting in bands for bush babies Sharing meat Grooming one another Defending territories Do chimpanzees have the capacity to cooperate?

6 Testing Intraspecies Cooperation Melis, A. P., Hare, B., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Chimpanzees recruit the best collaborators. Science, 311, 1297-1300.

7 Chimpanzee Collaboration with Humans Soliciting Behavior Looking at the face Whimpering Taking the partner’s hand What if there is no benefit for the chimpanzee? Hirata, S., & Fuwa, K. (2007). Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) learn to act with other individuals in a cooperative task. Primates, 48, 13-21.

8 Evolutionary Implications Ability to cooperate in the wild and in captivity Rational and recruiting abilities Ability to mimic each other’s behavior Cooperation is not solely a human ability but must have existed in the common ancestor before the human and ape lineages divided.

9 Why isn’t this a Planet of the Apes? Chimps can imitate humans or other apes, but we routinely teach one another We have greater control over our emotions and impulses We have more complex forms of collaboration

10 Groupthink Groupthink- “ A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ striving for unanimity overrides their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.”

11 Antecedents of Groupthink High Group Cohesiveness A Stressful Situation Group Insulation Promotional Leadership Lack of Methodical Decision Making Processes Lack of Variety in Members’ Values and Perspectives

12 Symptoms of Groupthink Rationalization Stereotyping Self-Censorship Direct Pressure on Those Who Oppose Unanimity Existence of Mindguards Illusions of Invulnerability, Morality, and Unanimity

13 Groupthink and Political Disasters Groupthink is often used to explain political disasters throughout history. Why? The Holocaust, Bay of Pigs Invasion, Watergate Scandal, and explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger have all been cited as examples of events caused by groupthink.

14 Two-Process Groupthink Model Compliance vs. Reinforcement Compliance- A group member privately disagrees with the ideas of the group, but goes along with the group decision in order to secure unanimity Reinforcement- A group member initially agrees with the group’s ideas, and their position is further strengthened through group interaction

15 Leadership and Groupthink Promotional Leader- A leader who pushes his or her personal agenda upon a group rather than encouraging members to express all possible viewpoints. Promotional leadership has been correlated with the existence of more groupthink symptoms. Extreme example- Adolf Hitler

16 Evolution of Groupthink The behaviors of leaders and followers evolved in early humans. Leadership was necessary in order to organize groups for hunting and gathering. Organized groups with leaders were more fit. What evolutionary advantage could groupthink have?

17 Social Rank and IDS: The Evolution of Depression and Corresponding Relation to Oppression

18 Humans As Social Animals Competition for resources Mates Food Allies Done through… Formation of Alliances Agonistic Behavior (intraspecies fighting)

19 Often, confrontations can be aggressive and severely detrimental to the loser

20 Social Rank Theory Presented by John Price in 1967 Determined from observation that certain evolved psychobiological mechanisms exist that facilitate success or failure in conflict situations Dominant members perform ritual agonistic behavior (symbolic actions that portray dominance) to avoid prevent serious or fatal injury Lower ranking members of the group respond with submissive behavior These interactions result in the sustainment of social hierarchies that are beneficial for dominant members This process requires a submissive response from the lower-ranking group member

21 Involuntary Defeat Strategy (IDS) Price recognized that losers of intraspecies conflicts often exhibit behaviors closely resembling human depression, suggesting the presence of a psychobiological mechanism promoting (or at least allowing for) the acceptance of defeat This mechanism is now known as IDS These symptoms include: Withdrawal Decreased Motivation Helpless Hopelessness Inferiority Inadequacy Anhedoria (inability to experience pleasure) IDS can triggered when defeat is directly experienced or when defeat is though to be inevitable

22 IDS is and adaptive strategy Usually only lasts for a short time period Ends conflict with a superior member, escaping serious or fatal injury Give up on unattainable goals and focus on more realistic and profitable pursuits But can be maladaptive When the loser can not separate from the conflict When IDS is not “turned off” and becomes too intense or persistent clinical depression and anxiety can develop

23 Contemporary Human Experiences of IDS Competition strategies have evolved to emphasize social as opposed physical Social Comparison Compare attractiveness, rank, and membership to others Other animals make similar comparisons, but, they are used to prevent potentially dangerous conflict Humans make more sophisticated comparisons and judgments that can trigger IDS and result in depression and other mental disorders Entrapment Desire to escape negative conditions but either can not or believe that one can not Can be either internal, external, or both

24 Theory of Oppression Caused by a dominating enforcement of beliefs that designate a certain group as inferior Intropunitive response: internalization of beliefs about oneself that are transmitted by the dominating group Members of oppressed groups become their own oppressors by developing a sense of internal entrapment, often ignoring structural systems of oppression Depression has been observed to be one of the main impacts of oppression

25 Examples Slavery Mass Communication

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