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social psyc textbook summary chap 8, group processes

social psyc textbook summary chap 8, group processes -...

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Chapter 8: Group Processes Fast development of planes in the last century and landing of man on the moon show what can be accomplished when people work together. Group work can lead to incredible advances (eg: planes development) and terrible mistakes (Columbia crash) Inspectors who investigated the causes of Columbia crash showed that group dynamics were partly in cause. A similar thing happened for the crash of Challenger in 1986. In both cases group members recognized the very problems that would cause the catastrophes and tried to warn people higher up in the chain of command, but aspects of the culture and structure of their organisation created obstacles that prevented these warnings from being heeded. It is clearly important to understand how group works and how individuals influence and are influenced by groups. “Groups can be quite different from the sum of their parts” “You think because you understand ‘one’, you must understand ‘two’, because one and one make two. But you must also understand ‘and’. “ COLLECTIVE PROCESSES: THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS Group: 2 or more people percerved as having at least one of the following characteristics: -direct interactions with each other over a period of time -joint membership in a social category based on sex, race, or other attributes -shared, common fate, identity, or set of goals. This chapter focuses on groups themselves (as opposed to perception of groups by others-Ch5) Collectives: people engaging in a common activity but having little direct interaction with each other Social Facilitation: When others arouse us Norman Triplett (one of founders of social psyc) studied the effect of other racers on speed of cyclist and hypothesised the competitive instinct (increasing nervous energy) to explain the better performance in groups. He proved this by showing that kids in wind up fishing reels perform faster in groups than alone. Later research proved disappointing with mixed results. By WWII the subject was abandoned. But Robert Zajonc proposed a solution to the mixed results by integrating experimental and social psyc His solution was that the presence of others increases arousal, which can affect performance in different ways, depending on the task at hand… Section 10: Cheryl Townson Summary Pages 254-263 (Stop at Moving from Personal to Social Identity) Zajonc provides an elegant solution to Triplett’s theory on people performing better in groups than alone. He says: “The presence of others increases arousal, which can affect performance in different ways, depending on the task at hand.” The Zajonc Solution: According to Zajonc, the road from presence to performance requires 3 steps: 1) The presence of others creates general physiological arousal , which energizes behaviour.
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2) Increased arousal enhances an individual’s tendency to perform the dominant response. The dominant response is the reaction elicited most quickly and easily by a given stimulus.
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