by Paul Burkhart
"Then Creole stepped forward to remind them that what they were playing was
the blues. He hit something in all of them, he hit something in me, myself, and the music
tightened and deepened, apprehension began to beat the air. Creole began to tell us what
the blues were all about. They were not about anything very new. He and his boys up
there were keeping it new, at the risk of ruin, destruction, madness and death, in order to
find new ways to make us listen. For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are
delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it must always be heard. There isn't any
other tale to tell, it's the only light we've got in all this darkness."
-- James Baldwin
These words written by James Baldwin help to show Group influence.
of musicians on the stage, through their music, is sharing something with the
people acting as the audience.
The music that they are sharing is improvisational blues,
which if you have never seen it, you must (just go to “Bogart’s” near the intersection of
Lombardy and Grove)
It is just what is said in the quote above.
The music is influencing
everyone hearing it.
It’s like a non-spoken group therapy session, because the musicians
are telling their story, which helps them, and you listen to it and it affects you, which
First things first, a group is defined as “two or more people who, for longer than a
few moments, interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as an
This chapter more than others presents its clear outline in the very beginning
which I will share with you right now.
First, we will explore three examples of collective
influence: Social Facilitation, Social Loafing, and Deindividualization.
Then we will
explore three examples of social influence in interacting groups: Group Polarization,
Groupthink, and Minority Influence.
Thus we commence!
From here on out, this narrative will be quite boring, seeing as everything is
already set up for me.
Usually, any interesting stuff I put into my narrative stems from
my attempts at bringing everything together from an otherwise seemingly disconnected
But in this one, because it’s really late, I’m just going to stick to the book’s
This topic involves the most basic question in all of social
psychology: Are we affected by the mere presence of another person? To be a “mere
presence,” by definition, must be “co-actors” which are Co-participants working
individually on a noncompetitive activity.
Norman Triplett conducted one of social