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Flashcards in Chapter 8 Deck (22):

What is a group?

o A collection of two or more people who interact with each other and are interdependent


Why do we belong to groups?

- Innate need
• Proof: isolation/confinement in prisons
• Fundamental need for social interaction; physical and mental well-being
- Self-identity
• How do we know if we’re nice, funny, clever etc...
• Interactions with people help formulate identity
- Textbook: belonging to groups important for social change; advancing society (ex: bringing attention to things that we find important)


Group Characteristics

- Social norms (expectations on what is normal behaviour; can be explicit or unspoken)
- Similarity (background, sexual orientation…)
- Social roles (norms are what’s expected from everyone; roles are what’s expected from an individual, ex: clown, leader)
- Cohesion (how close knit the group is); measured by:
• Willingness to stay in the group
• How often you take part in group activities
• Try to recruit like-minded members (do this more when we’re high in cohesion)
• Task cohesion: how well we work together


Group influences - social facilitation

Social facilitation
• Tendency to do better on simple tasks, but worse on complex tasks, when in presence of others and individual performance can be evaluated
• Ex: how we cook for ourselves vs how we cook when we have guests
• STUDY: cockroaches; start at one end and food at other end; test it by itself, then test it with others around it (in view); cockroaches get faster when others are there; THEN more complex; same task but a bend in the path to the food  when observed by other roaches they’re actually so much slower
• Zajonc (1965) – presence of others + evaluation
- Increases psychological arousal
- Makes us more alert
- Makes us concerned for what others think of us (evaluation apprehension)
- Distracts us


Group influences - social loafing

Social Loafing
• Tendency to perform poorly on simple tasks, but better on complex tasks, when in the presence of others and are not being evaluated
• More present in men than women
• Blend in with the rest of the group
• Ringelmann effect: as you increase the number of people in the group, the individual input is less (too many people = inefficient)
• Cultural difference:
- Social loafing more likely to happen in individualistic cultures


Behaviour in Groups - Deindividuation

- Loosening of normal constraints on behaviour when people are in a crowd (ex: rioting, looting, partying, flash mobs)
- How does it work?
• Accountability
• Self-awareness
• Group norms
• Uniforms/anonymity/savagery


Group Decisions

o Are two (or more) heads better than one?
o Members should be:
- Stimulated by each other’s comments
- Attentive to person with most expertise
o Unique information vs. process loss
- All have unique information: one’s own unique opinion, but often fail to share this (leads to process loss)
o Couples – transactive memory
- Each person is responsible for knowing about certain things (ex: wife deals with paying hydro bill, husband deals with phone bill)
o Groups are more likely to share unique information when:
- Information is diagnostic
- Discussions lasts a long time
- People have assigned roles; information they are responsible for



o Mode of thinking people engage in when they are deeply involved in cohesive in-group
o Strivings for unanimity override the motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action
o Maintaining group cohesiveness becomes more important than uncovering the facts


When is groupthink most likely to happen?

- Highly cohesive
- Isolated from contrary opinions
- Ruled by a directive leader


Symptoms of groupthink

- Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking
- Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group’s assumptions
- Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group = ignore the consequences of their actions
- Stereotyping those opposed to the group as weak, incompetent, or stupid
- Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of “disloyalty”
- Self censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus
- Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement
- Mindguards – self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information


How to avoid groupthink:

- Leader remaining impartial
- Invite outside opinion
- Divide group into independent sub-groups
- Each member acting as critical evaluator
- Using secret voting
- Having a devil’s advocate


Group polarization

- Tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclinatinon of their members
- Start as risky; riskier in group
- OR Conservative; more conservative in group
- Depending on what others are saying we will be swayed to one or the other


Great person theory

- Key personality traits regardless of situation
• Intelligence
• Charisma
• Motivation
• Self-confidence
• Dominance
But; STUDY: most successful presidents
• Tall, small family, published many books
• Good leadership: integrative complexity
- Ability to be able to integrate various perspectives


Fielder’s Contingency theory

- Right person at the right time in the right situation
• Person: task vs. relationship-oriented (recognize you need to connect with ppl. to motivate them)
• Situation: high vs. low control (low: leader doesn’t have respect; people don’t listen…)
- Relationships with subordinates, leader’s position, nature of task
- Task-oriented leaders better in very high or very low control
- Relationship-oriented leaders better in moderate control


Gender differences in leadership

- Women
• Expected to be more “communal” (helpful, kind, warm, affectionate)
• More effective when interpersonal skills are important
- Men
• Expected to be more “agentic” (assertive, controlling, dominant, self-confident)
• More effective when the need is to direct and control


Glass cliff effect

- women are put in crisis situations where the chance of failure is high
- STUDY: transformational (long-term) female leaders were given low scores by male subordinates but high scores by female subordinates; but male leaders were rated equally in either (transformational/transactional) category


Groups and Conflict

o Social dilemma
- Own interests are pitted against those of the group
- Most beneficial action for an individual can have harmful effects for the group
- Ex: Stephen King website
• He started writing a book and posted 2 installments that were free to access; but he said if 75% of the visitors pay 1$ then I will continue to upload installments; but if less than 75% donates then I will stop writing
- Prisoner’s Dilemma
• Usually more favourable to cooperate
• More likely to cooperate if you have a healthy relationship with the other person
• Collectivist cultures tend to make more cooperative moves than individualistic


Resolving Conflict - Tit-for-tat strategy:

• Begin with cooperative move and then respond with whatever the opponent does
• Shows willingness to cooperate but unwillingness to be exploited


Resolving Conflict - Threats

• Often cause conflict to escalate


Resolving Conflict - Negotiation

• Communication between opposing sides in a conflict involving offers and counteroffers aimed at arriving a solution
• Integrative solution
- Each side concedes the most on issues that are least important to them, but most important to the opponent
- Mediators can be very helpful in outlining the issues


Transformational leaders

- long term goals, want to transform what is currently happening into something better; want you to be innovative (higher job satisfaction) = intrinsic motivation


Transactional leaders

- Leader establishes clear short term goals and reward people who meet them; gets job done smoothly (Ex: working on commission) = extrinsic motivation