Psych 4-1 - What is a group (according to Social...

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What is a group (according to Social Psychologists?) Groups are two or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with and influence one another. Perceive themselves as "us" vs. "them" Examples (according to the definition, are these considered a group?): A family? Yes. People in a coffee shop? No. Because they are not regulars and most likely would not interact in the coffee shop. UMass fans at a game? Yes. Because there is group conformity and individuals most likely will influence each other. What are some of the effects of groups on performance? Social Facilitation: Original meaning: The tendency to perform simple or well-learned tasks better when others are present. Classic Study (Triplet 1898) - Riding bicycles and children winding fishing reel - faster in presence of co-actors. Also true for simple tasks (e.g., simple math problems) Sometimes the presence of others makes performance worse - social inhibition. Difficult anagrams, multiplication problems Learning mazes Why did people perform poorly on these tasks? Arousal due to others may impede performance. Zajonc argued that arousal enhances the dominant (well-learned) response. If task is novel and difficult - others make performance worse. If task is easy or well-learned - others aid performance. Some psychologists have suggested that the meaning of social facilitation be revised to: "The strengthening of dominant responses in the presence of others." It was revised. Support for Social Facilitaiton: Micheals and colleagues (1982) observed pool players at student union. Chose six above and six below. Compared performance among "good" pool players to "poor" pool players when alone or in presence of 4 observers. He found that those who were labeled as good pool players did slightly better when in presence of observers, while those labeled as poor pool players did slightly
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course PSYCH 360 taught by Professor Butz during the Spring '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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Psych 4-1 - What is a group (according to Social...

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