Chapter 9 - Group Processes Flashcards Preview

PL3235 Social Psych > Chapter 9 - Group Processes > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 9 - Group Processes Deck (63):

What is a group?

2 or more people who interact and are interdependent in the sense that their needs and goals cause them to influence each other.

Usually larger than 2, with 2 people sometimes referred to as a dyad


Why do people join groups? (4)

1) Allows us to accomplish objectives that would be more difficult to meet individually

2) Fulfils a basic need to belong

3) Helps to define who we are - the need to be unique. People also have the need to feel distinctive from those who do not belong to the same groups.
- can be done by using other people as sources of information, helping us resolve ambiguity about the nature of the social world
- provides a lens through which we can understand the world and our place in it, hence groups become an important part of our identity.

4) Helps us establish social norms, the explicit or implicit norms defining what is acceptable behaviour.


Why do people have the basic need to want to belong somewhere?

In our evolutionary past, there was a substantial advantage to establishing bonds with other people.
People who bonded together were better able to hunt for and grow food, find mates, and care for children.
Hence, it is argued that the need to belong has become entrenched in all societies, and people in all cultures are motivated to form relationships with other people and to resist the dissolution of these relationships.
People monitor their status in groups and look for any sign that they might be rejected.
Asked people to recall a time when they had been rejected by others → they estimated the temperature of the current room they were in to be 5 degrees lower than did people who were asked to recall a time when they were accepted by others.


How does belonging to a group help us define who we are?

Can use other people as sources of information, helping us resolve ambiguity about the nature of the social world.
Provides a lens through which we can understand the world and our place in it, hence groups become an important part of our identity.


Explain how one's reasons for wanting to belong to a group can be a continuum. (like it isn't 50% of this and 50% of that)

If you belong to an individualistic culture, chances are that this equilibrium point will be more skewed towards the need to be unique.
If you belong to a collectivistic culture, this equilibrium point will be more skewed towards the need to belong.
Each culture’s equilibrium is different.


What is the optimal group size? Why?


Can fulfill both functions by giving us a sense of belonging with our fellow group members and also making us feel special and distinctive.
Large groups: Might have a sense of belonging, but difficult to feel unique. Or that you find it difficult to fulfill both needs.


Distinguish between social norms and social roles.

Social norms: How all group members should act
Social roles: How people holding certain positions should act


How do group norms work in shaping behaviour within a group?

All societies have norms about which behaviours are acceptable, some of which all members are expected to obey (eg everyone should be quiet in a library) and some of which vary from group to group (eg what is appropriate to wear in weddings and funerals).

These norms are a powerful determinant of behaviour.

The power of norms to shape behaviour becomes clear when we violate them too often: We are shunned by other group members and, in extreme cases, pressured to leave the group.


Social roles are _______ expectations in a group about how particular people are supposed to behave



How do social roles help ease people into how they are supposed to behave?

People know what to expect from each other. When members of a group follow a set of clearly defined roles, they tend to be satisfied and perform well.


Provide an example about how people can get so far into a role that their personal identities and personalities get lost.

Stanford prison experiment

Was supposed to be held over 2 weeks, but was terminated after 6 days.
The students quickly assumed these roles
Guards became abusive and humiliated the prisoners. The prisoners became helpless, passive and withdrawn.
All these happened even though the students were aware that they were in a psych experiment and the prison was only make-believe.
However, the roles of guard and prisoner were so compelling and powerful that this simple truth was often overlooked.
People got so far into their roles that their personal identities and sense of decency somehow got lost.
Another criticism of this experiment apart from its obvious ethical issues: Participants were able to quickly figure out what the study was about and role-played in the manner that they thought was expected of them.
However, it is clear that it didn’t take coercion, bribery or weeks and weeks of training to prompt these guards and prisoners to slip easily into their roles and that, in particular, some of these student guards clearly and quickly took things too far.


Define group cohesiveness

Qualities of a group that bind members together and promote liking between them.


If a group's main purpose is to meet up for social reasons and hang out with each other (LIKE SOOPREM KORT), how will cohesiveness play a part in bonding them?

The more cohesive the group, the better. The more its members are likely to stay in the group, take part in group activities, and try to recruit new like-minded members.


If the group's main purpose is to solve problems together, the more cohesive the group, the better the solutions they produce. True or false?

False. You can say that solving problems well does allow members to be more cohesive, but the reverse is not true GENERALLY.


Distinguish between tasks that require close teamwork vs little teamwork in determining if the group will need to be cohesive to work on problems well together.

For work requiring little teamwork, cohesiveness isn't a prerequisite for good problem solving.

However, if the work done requires much teamwork, then yes cohesiveness is required so that members will cooperate closely with each other.


What is the risk that comes with getting a closely-knit group to make decisions?

Cohesiveness can get in the way of optimal performance if maintaining good relations among group members becomes more important than finding good solutions to the problem.


In a group context, people like others who are similar to them more. True or false?


Most of the time, members of a group tend to be alike in age, sex, beliefs and opinions. (high homogeneity in groups)
Many groups tend to attract people who are already similar before they join.
Groups tend to operate in ways that encourage similarity in the members.
People tend to gravitate towards groups with similar others, and such similarity typically predicts group cohesiveness.


Discuss the role of diversity in decision making by groups using an example.

Study: College students were assigned to brainstorming groups ranging in size from 3-5. Half of these groups were comprised entirely of white students, and the other half of the groups were racially diverse.
They were all assigned the same task: to spend 15 minutes brainstorming ideas for how best to attract more tourists to USA.
At the end of each session, participants were asked how much they liked the other members of their group.
Members of all-White groups reported liking their fellow group members more than did members of diverse groups.
However, just because a group is cohesive does not mean it is performing at its optimal level.
The diverse groups had come up with more feasible and effective possibilities.
Participants may have enjoyed being in a group with similar others, but their performance was strongest when in a diverse group.
These findings are consistent with more general conclusions that while diversity (of all types, not just related to race), can sometimes can at the expense of a group’s cohesiveness and morale, a diversity of backgrounds or perspectives often predicts improved performance in terms of group creativity, information sharing, and flexible problem solving.
Explains why many companies and institutions currently spend effort and resources to achieve diversity in their ranks
Believe that it will lead to improved performance, whether in terms of learning environment or the corporate bottom line → in correlational terms, they are right.


If a diverse group were to work together, they would not resolve this differences over time and would not see themselves as similar in other aspects.

True or false?

false. if not we can't coexist LOL

These groups manage to look past these differences and take pride in their diversity. Threats to cohesiveness and morale posed by diversity are usually short-term, lessening over time as group members learn to work with one other and even come to take pride in their group’s diversity.


Distinguish between social faciliation and social loafing

Social facilitation: can recognise individual efforts, so you do worse at complex tasks, but better at simple ones.

Social loafing: cannot recognise individual efforts, so you do worse at simple tasks but better at complex tasks.


Define social facilitation

When people are in the presence of others and their individual performance can be evaluated, the tendency to perform better on simple tasks and worse on complex tasks.


Discuss the role of arousal in social facilitation.

The presence of others increases physiological arousal (ie our bodies become more energized)
When such arousal exists, it is easier to perform a dominant response (eg something we are good at) but harder to do something complex or learn something new.
When performing a difficult task, arousal caused by people watching you will cause you to feel flustered and do less well than if you are alone.


Why do we experience heightened arousal in the presence of others? Explain 3 reasons, with one of them covering the concept of evaluation apprehension.

1) The presence of other people makes us more alert.
- When we are by ourselves reading a book, we don’t have to pay attention to anything else other than the book. Don’t have to worry that anyone will ask us a question, or do anything that prompts a response from us.
- However, when someone else is in the room, we have to be alert to the possibility that he/she will do something that requires us to respond. People are not very predictable either, hence we end up being in a state of greater alertness to prepare ourselves for the possibility that they will do something.
- This alertness, or vigilance, causes arousal.

2) People are often concerned about how others are evaluating them.
- When other people can see how you are doing, the stakes are raised: you feel as if the other people are evaluating you; you will be embarrassed if you do poorly and pleased if you do well.
- This concern about being judged, called evaluation apprehension, can cause arousal.
- According to this view, it is not the mere presence of others but rather, the presence of others who are evaluating us that causes arousal and subsequent social facilitation.

3) The presence of others can be quite distracting.
- Similar to the notion that we need to be alert in the presence of others, except that it focuses on the idea that any source of distraction - be it in the presence of other people or noise from the party going on in the apartment upstairs - will put us in a state of conflict because it is difficult to pay attention to two things at the same time.
- This divided attention causes arousal.
- Consistent with this interpretation, nonsocial sources of distraction (Eg a flashing light) can cause the same kinds of social facilitation effects as the presence of other people.


You should study in the presence of others. True/false?

You should do exams alone. True or false?

False for both

1) should not do so because the content is likely to be still challenging to us at that point at that point of time. In such situations, the arousal caused by the presence of other people will make it more difficult to concentrate.
The presence of our favourite TV characters (human characters or cartoon characters apply) also causes such arousal.

2) Depends on the situation. If the content is easy for you then you should do it in the presence of others as being beside them produces arousal that helps to improve your performance. but if it's difficult then maybe you should do it alone.


What is social loafing?

When people are in the presence of others and their individual performance cannot be evaluated, the tendency to perform worse on simple or unimportant tasks but better on complex or important tasks. Being with other people can also mean that we can merge into a group, and we become less noticeable than when we are alone → we should feel relaxed, and thus feel less evaluation apprehension.


What type of people are the most susceptible to social loafing?

men and people from western cultures


What type of people are the least susceptible to social loafing?

women and people from eastern cultures


Distinguish between performance on simple vs complex tasks (social loafing)

For simple tasks, individuals in this case, performed worse than when doing it alone.
Found that when a group of men pulled on a rope, each individual exerted less effort than when he did it alone.
Social loafing has been found on various tasks, such as clapping your hands, cheering loudly and thinking of many uses for an object.
For difficult tasks, individuals become more relaxed as they cannot be identified.
Being relaxed helps to improve performance on complex tasks.


What is deindividualization?

The loosening of normal constraints on behaviour when people can’t be identified (such as when they are in a crowd)


What are the effects of deindividualization?

1) makes people less accountable
2) makes people more likely to obey group norms


How does decreased accountability and deindividualization lead people to do horrible acts that they would not do when they are in the right state of mind?

seems to lead to and exacerbate impulsive (often violent acts)

Deindividualization meant that there is a reduced likelihood that any individual will be singled out and blamed, and this leaves people feeling less accountable for their actions


Does deindividualization always lead to aggressive or antisocial behaiviour? Explain.

no. depends on what the group norms are. it is the specific norm of the group that determines whether deindividualization will lead to positive or negative behaviours.


How can groups make better decisions than individuals (3)?

Group members freely contribute independent opinions from a variety of viewpoints, OR
If people are motivated to search for the answer that is best for the entire group and not just for themselves OR
When they rely on the individual with the most expertise.


What is process loss?

Any aspect of group interaction that inhibits good problem solving


Why is it difficult for the most competent member to convince everyone he/she is right?

Groups might not try hard enough to find out who the most competent members are and instead rely on someone who doesn’t really know what he/she is talking about.
The most competent members might also find it difficult to disagree with everyone else in the group due to normative social pressure.
Communication problems: Eg not listening to each other, allowing one person to dominate the conversation while the others tune out


Use an example to illustrate how the failure to share unique information can impair decision making.

Study: Getting people to decide who to vote for as student body president
Shared information condition: Groups of 4 participants were given the same packet of information to read, which indicated that Candidate A was the best choice for office. When these groups met up to discuss the candidates, almost all the members chose Candidate A.
Unshared information condition: Each participant received a different packet of information. All participants learned that Candidate A had the same 4 negative qualities, but each learned that Candidate A had 2 unique positive qualities (each person received a different set of positive qualities listed).
If the participants shared the information that was in their packets, they would learn that Candidate A had a total of 8 qualities and 4 negative qualities.
Instead, most of the groups in the unshared information condition never realized that Candidate A had more good than bad qualities because when they met, they focused on the information they shared rather than on the information they did not.
As a result, few groups chose Candidate A.


How to improve sharing of unique information and improve decision making subsequently (3)?

Unshared information is more likely to be brought up later in the discussion, suggesting that group discussions should last long enough to get beyond what everyone knows.
Also helps to tell group members not to share what their initial preferences are at the outset of the discussion; if they do, they will focus less on unique, unshared information.
Assign different group members to specific areas of expertise so that they know that they alone are responsible for certain types of information


What is transactive memory?

The combined memory of a group that is more efficient than the memory of the individual members.


What is groupthink, and under what conditions is it likely to occur?

A kind of decision process in which maintaining group cohesiveness and solidarity is more important than considering the facts in a realistic manner.

when the group is highly cohesive, isolated from contrary opinions, and ruled by a directive leader who makes his or her wishes known


What symptoms are shown in group decision making when conditions for groupthink are met? (4)

When these preconditions are met, the group begins to feel they are invulnerable and can do no wrong.

Start to exercise self-censorship, failing to voice contrary views because they are afraid of ruining the group’s high morale or because they fear being criticised by others.

If anyone does voice a contrary viewpoint, the rest of the group is quick to criticize, pressuring the person to conform to the majority view.

This kind of behavior creates an illusion of unanimity where it looks as if everyone agrees.


What results from groupthink?

The perilous state of groupthink leads to an inferior decision-making process.
Eg: Group does not consider the full range of alternatives, does not develop contingency plans, and does not adequately consider the risks of its preferred choice.


How to reduce groupthink?

1) Remain impartial. A leader should not take a directive role but should remain impartial.

2) Seek outside opinions: The group should invite outside opinions from people who are not members and who are thus less concerned with maintaining group cohesiveness.

3) Create subgroups: A leader can divide the group into subgroups that first meet separately and then meet together to discuss their different recommendations.

4) Seek anonymous opinions: A group might also take a secret ballot or ask members to write down their opinions anonymously; doing so ensures that people give their true opinions, uncensored by a fear of recrimination from the group.


Define group polarization.

The tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclinations of their members.


List 2 reasons why group polarization occurs.

1) Persuasive Arguments Interpretation
2) Social Comparison Interpretation


Give empirical evidence about group polarization.

Asking a low-ranked participant if he wants to attempt a deceptive but risky maneuver that might lead to quick victory if it is successful or almost certain defeat if it fails
When deciding alone, people said that the chess player should make the risky gambit only if there were at least a 30% chance of success.
But after discussing the problem with others in a group, people said that the chess player should go for it even if there was only a 10% chance of success. → finding known as the risky shift.
Also, groups tend to make decisions that are more extreme in the same direction as the initial predispositions of their members.
Hence, if the individual members of a group are already leaning towards a risky decision, group discussion will usually exaggerate that risky tendency. (applies when the group is leaning towards a conservative decision too)


Define the great person theory

The idea that certain key personality traits make a person a good leader, regardless of the situation


Distinguish between transactional leaders and transformation leaders.

Set clear, short-term goals and reward people who meet them.

Inspire followers to focus on common, long-term goals.

While transactional leaders do a good job of making things run smoothly, it is transformational leaders who think outside of the box and inspire their followers to exert themselves to meet big-picture goals

The best leaders use both though.


What is the contingency Theory of Leadership?

Argues that leadership effectiveness depends on both how task-oriented or relationship-oriented the leader is and on the amount of control and influence the leader has over the group


distinguish between task-oriented leaders and relationship-oriented leaders

task-oriented: Concerned more with getting the job done than with workers’ feelings and relationships. Such leaders do well in high-control work conditions and low-control work conditions



What are high, moderate and low control conditions?

High-control: Leader’s position in the company is structured and well-defined (eg a corporate manager with control over each worker’s performance review and merit raise)

Moderate-control: Under these conditions, the wheels are turning fairly smoothly, but important work still needs to be done
The leader who can promote strong relations between individual employees will be the most successful.

Low-control: Leader is not perceived as powerful and the work needing to be done is not clearly defined (eg the supervisor of a newly formed group of volunteers)


Discuss the obstacles females face in assuming leadership positions (2).

(hint agentic vs communal traits, glass ceiling??)

1) Many believe that good leaders have agentic traits (eg assertive, dominant, controlling, independent, self-confident), which are traditionally associated with men.
In contrast, women are stereotypically expected to be more communal (eg concerned with the welfare of others, warm, helpful, kind and affectionate).
If women behave the way they are “supposed” to behave when assuming leadership positions, they are often viewed as having less leadership potential.
However, if a woman who holds a leadership positions acts the way leaders are expected to act (agentic traits), they are criticized for not acting like a woman should AKA a bitch lol fuck men and toxic masculinity!!!!!!!!

2) Since women are perceived as being more communal, they are often thought to be better at managing crises, particularly one involving interpersonal problems, such as a conflict between managers.
But this also means that women are more often assigned to precarious, high-risk positions where it is difficult to succeed. → “glass cliff”
Even when women have broken through the “glass ceiling” into top leadership positions, they are more likely than men to be put in charge of units that are in crisis and in which the risk of failure is high.
Participants in controlled lab studies were more likely to recommend a woman when an organisational unit was in crisis and a man when the unit was running smoothly - tendencies that make it more likely that women will fail in their leadership positions


There is universal agreement about the value of 2 leadership qualities: _______ and being __________.

charisma and being team-oriented


Autonomous leadership, defined as being independent of one’s superiors and keeping one’s distance away from subordinates (ie spending a lot of time working alone), was valued more in ______ countries than it was in most _________ countries.

European, Latin American


How is the prisoner's dilemma applicable to real-life?

People’s actions in these games seem to mirror many conflicts in everyday life.
To find a solution desirable to both parties, people must trust each other.
However, they often do not, and this lack of trust leads to an escalating series of competitive moves so that in the end no one wins.
Eg: Two countries locked in an arms race may feel that they cannot afford to disarm out of fear that the other side will take advantage of their weakened position.
The result is that both sides add furiously to their stockpile of weapons, neither gaining superiority over the other and both spending money they could use to solve domestic problem.


Under what conditions will people adopt the more cooperative response, which ensures both sides end up with a positive outcome?

Playing the game with a friend or someone who you expect to interact with in the future: more likely to adopt a cooperative strategy that maximizes everyone’s profits
Subtly changing the norms about what kind of behaviour is expected can have large effects about how cooperative people are.
Simply changing the name of a game from the “Wall Street Game” to the “Community Game” increased the % of people who played cooperatively from 33% to 71%.

Another study, conducted on Chinese college students in HK, found that showing people symbols of Chinese culture before the game made people more cooperative, whereas showing people symbols of American culture made them more competitive.


What is the Tit-for-tat Strategy and why does it work in increasing cooperation?

A way of encouraging cooperation by at first acting cooperatively but then always responding the way your opponent did (cooperatively or competitively) in the previous trial
Such a strategy communicates a willingness to cooperate and an unwillingness to sit back and be exploited if the partner does not cooperate.
Often successful in getting the other person to respond with the cooperative, trusting response
Allow individuals rather than opposing groups to resolve a conflict because 2 individuals who play the prisoner’s dilemma are more likely to cooperate with each other than 2 groups who play the same game.
People are more likely to assume that another individual is cooperative at heart and can be trusted but that groups will, if given the opportunity, stab us in the back.


Illustrate how threats are ineffective in getting people to cooperate by using the Deutsch and Krauss Trucking Game

Developed a game in which 2 participants imagined that they were in charge of trucking companies named Acme and Bolt
The goal of each company was to transport merchandise as quickly as possible to a destination
Participants were paid 60 cents for each “trip” but had 1 cent subtracted for every second it took them to make the trip.
The most direct route for each company was over a one-lane road that only one truck could travel at a time.
This placed the companies in direct conflict.
If Acme and Bolt both tried to take the one-lane road, neither truck could pass, and both would lose money.
Each company could take an alternate route, but this was much longer, guaranteeing that they would lose at least 10 cents per trial.
After a while, most participants worked out a solution that allowed both trucks to make a modest amount of money.
They took turns waiting until the other party crossed the one-lane road, then they would take the route as well
In another version, the researchers gave Acme a gate that could be lowered over the one-lane road, thereby blocking Bolt from using that route.
When one side had the gate, both participants lost more than when neither side had the gate.
Bolt did not like being threatened, and often retaliated by parking its truck on the one-lane road, blocking the Acme truck’s progress. → lose money
If both sides had gates, both sides lost more money than in the no threat or unilateral threat condition. Instead of coming to a consensus, the owners of both companies threatened to use their gates and did so with great frequency.


What is important in getting people to cooperate? Provide evidence

communication aimed at establishing trust.

Ran a version of the trucking gam in which participants were required to communicate through an intercom on every trial
Hypothesized that more cooperation would occur, but this did not occur.
No dramatic increase in profits occurred.
Making people communicate reduced losses somewhat in the unilateral threat condition when Acme alone had the gate but failed to increase cooperation in either of the 2 conditions.
Hypothesis was not met because the communication did not foster trust
Conducted a later study where participants were specifically instructed to work out a solution that was fair to both studies
Under these conditions, verbal communication did increase the amount of money both sides won because it fostered trust instead of adding fuel to the competitive fires.


What is negotiation?

A form of communication between opposing sides in a conflict in which offers and counteroffers are made and a solution occurs only when both parties agree.


What prevents successful negotiation from happening?

One limit to successful negotiation is that people often assume that they are locked in a conflict in which only one party can come out ahead.
They don’t realize that a solution favourable to both parties is available.


What do people come up with to negotiate successfully?

This type of solution is called an integrative solution: A solution to a conflict whereby the parties make trade-offs on issues, with each side conceding the most on issues that are unimportant to it but important to the other side.


What are limitations associated with coming up with good integrative solutions?

However people find it difficult to identify integrative solutions.
The more people have at stake in a negotiation, the more biased their perceptions of their opponent.
They will tend to distrust proposals made by the other side and to overlook interests they have in common.
Explains why people often use neutral mediators to solve labour disputes, legal battles, and divorce proceedings.
Mediators are often in a better position to recognize that there are mutually agreeable solutions to a conflict.


Trust is more easily established in _____ than in ______.

old-fashioned face-to-face negotiation

electronic communications

Harder to get to know people and learn to trust them in electronic communications.
Negotiations conducted over electronic media were more hostile and resulted in lower profits than face-to-face negotiations