Group Influence

What Is a Group?

Two or more people who, for longer than a few moments, interact with and influence one another and perceive one another as “us” Social Facilitation: How Are We Affected by the Presence of Others? The Mere Presence of Others Social facilitation Strengthening of dominant responses whether correct or incorrect in the presence of others Boosts performance on easy tasks Impairs performance on difficult tasks

Social Facilitation: How Are We Affected by the Presence of Others? Crowding: The Presence of Many Others Effect of others’ presence increases with their number Being in a crowd intensifies positive or negative reactions Enhances arousal

Social Facilitation: How Are We Affected by the Presence of Others? Why Are We Aroused in the Presence of Others? Evaluation apprehension Concern for how others are evaluating us Driven by distraction When we wonder how co-actors are doing or how an audience is reacting, we become distracted Mere presence Can be arousing even when we are not evaluated or distracted Social Loafing: Do Individuals Exert Less Effort in a Group? Social Loafing Tendency for people to exert less effort when they pool their efforts toward a common goal than when they are individually accountable Social Loafing: Do Individuals Exert Less Effort in a Group? Many Hands Make Light Work Effort decreases as group size increases Free riders People who benefit from the group but give little in return Social Loafing: Do Individuals Exert Less Effort in a Group? Social Loafing in Everyday Life People in groups loaf less when the task is Challenging Appealing Rewards are significant Involving Team spirit

Deindividuation: When Do People Lose Their Sense of Self in Groups? Deindividuation Loss of self-awareness and evaluation apprehension; occurs in group situations that foster responsiveness to group norms, good or bad Deindividuation: When Do People Lose Their Sense of Self in Groups? Doing Together What We Would Not Do Alone Group size Larger the group the more its members lose self-awareness and become willing to commit atrocities People’s attention is focused on the situation, not on themselves “Everyone’s doing it” attitude

They contribute their behavior to the situation rather than to their own choices Deindividuation: When Do People Lose Their Sense of Self in Groups? Doing Together What We Would Not Do Alone Anonymity Being anonymous makes one less self- conscious, more group conscious, and more responsive to cues present in the situation, whether negative or positive

Children were more likely to transgress by taking extra Halloween candy when in a group, when anonymous, and, especially, when deindividuated by the combination of group immersion and anonymity. Deindividuation: When Do People Lose Their Sense of Self in Groups? Doing Together What We Would Not Do Alone Arousing and distracting activities When we act in an impulsive way as a group, we are not thinking about our values; we are reacting to the immediate situation Impulsive group action absorbs our attention

Deindividuation: When Do People Lose Their Sense of Self in Groups? Diminished Self-Awareness Tend to increase people’s responsiveness to the immediate situation, be it negative or positive Group Polarization: Do Groups Intensify Our Opinions? Group Polarization Group-produced enhancement of members’ preexisting tendencies; a strengthening of the members’ average tendency, not a split within the groupGroup Polarization: Do Groups Intensify Our Opinions? “Risky Shift” Phenomenon Occurs not only when a group decides by consensus; after a brief discussion, individuals, too, will alter their decisions Juries Business committees Military organizations Teen drivers

Group Polarization: Do Groups Intensify Our Opinions? Do Groups Intensify Opinions? Group polarization experiments Moscovici and Zavalloni (1969) Mititoshi Isozaki (1984) Markus Brauer, et al. (2001)

Group Polarization: Do Groups Intensify Our Opinions? Do Groups Intensify Opinions? Group polarization in everyday life Schools Accentuation effect Communities Self-segregation Internet Terrorists organizations

Group Polarization: Do Groups Intensify Our Opinions? Explaining Polarization Informational influence Arguments Active participation

Group Polarization: Do Groups Intensify Our Opinions? Explaining Polarization Normative influence Social comparison Evaluating one’s opinions and abilities by comparing oneself with others Pluralistic ignorance A false impression of what most other people are thinking or feeling, or how they are responding Groupthink: Do Groups Hinder or Assist Good Decisions? Mode of thinking that persons engage in when concurrence-seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive in-group that it tends to override realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action Caused by

Cohesive group Isolation of the group from dissenting viewpoints Directive leader

Groupthink: Do Groups Hinder or Assist Good Decisions? Symptoms of Groupthink Following lead group members to overestimate their group’s might and right Illusion of invulnerability Unquestioned belief in the group’s morality

Groupthink: Do Groups Hinder or Assist Good Decisions? Symptoms of Groupthink Following leads group members to become closed- minded Rationalization Stereotyped view of opponent

Groupthink: Do Groups Hinder or Assist Good Decisions? Symptoms of Groupthink Following leads group to feel pressure toward uniformity Conformity pressure Self-censorship Illusion of unanimity Mindguards

Groupthink: Do Groups Hinder or Assist Good Decisions? Critiquing Groupthink Directive leadership is associated with poorer decisions Groups do prefer supporting over challenging information Groups make smart decisions by widely distributed conversation with members who take turns speaking Group acceptance, approval, and social identity, suppress disagreeable thoughts among members Diverse groups produce more creativity

Groups may not always benefit from all that members know Groupthink: Do Groups Hinder or Assist Good Decisions? Preventing Groupthink Be impartial Encourage critical evaluation Occasionally subdivide the group, then reunite to air differences Welcome critiques from outside experts and associates Call a second-chance meeting

Groupthink: Do Groups Hinder or Assist Good Decisions? Group Problem Solving Combine group and solitary brainstorming Have group members interact by writing Incorporate electronic brainstorming

The Influence of the Minority: How Do Individuals Influence the Group? Consistency Minority slowness effect Self-Confidence Portrayed by consistency and persistence Defections from the Majority Minority person who defects from the majority is more persuasive than a consistent minority voice The Influence of the Minority: How Do Individuals Influence the Group? Is Leadership Minority Influence? Leadership

Process by which certain group members motivate and guide the group Formal and informal group leaders exert disproportionate influence The Influence of the Minority: How Do Individuals Influence the Group? Is Leadership Minority Influence? Task leadership Organizes work, sets standards, and focuses on goals Social leadership Builds teamwork, mediates conflict, and offers support Transformational leadership Enabled by a leader’s vision and inspiration, exerts significant influence