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Social Psychology by David G. Myers 8th Edition
Group Influence
Social Facilitation
The presence of others
“mere presence” can affect performance
social facilitation – the strengthening of dominant responses in presence of others
Presence leads to arousal, which enhances easy behavior and impairs difficult behavior.

Crowding: The presence of many others
Large crowd increases arousal and thus intensifies facilitation effect.
Sometimes anxiety caused by large crowd can interfere with well-learned automatic behaviors (stage fright).
Being in a crowd intensifies positive or negative reactions.

Reasons for Facilitation Effect
Why are we physiologically and psychologically aroused in the presence of others?
Evaluation apprehension (fear of being evaluated)
Driven by distraction (cognitive system overloaded by paying attention to the task and to others)
Mere presence (but mere presence does produce some arousal, even without apprehension or distraction)

Social Loafing
Many hands make light work
Actually, effort decreases as group size increases.
“free riders”
Social loafing in everyday life
Russian farmers
Contributions to PBS
BUT, less loafing with challenging or appealing task, or with friends vs. strangers

Doing together what we would not do alone
Group size
Physical anonymity
Arousing and distracting activities
Diminished self-awareness

Group Polarization
The case of the “risky shift”
Do groups intensify opinions?
Group polarization experiments: Discussion typically strengthens the average inclination of group members.
Naturally occurring group polarization: Interaction with similar peers intensifies shared attitudes.
Explaining polarization
Informational influence – participation in discussion
Normative influence – social comparison

Group Polarization
Symptoms of groupthink
Critiquing groupthink
Preventing groupthink – encourage critique & dissent, be impartial
Groupthink and group influence

Minority Influence on the Group
Consistency – unwavering minority has more influence
Minority slowness effect
Self-confidence – through consistency, also behavior (sitting at the head of the table)
Defections from the majority more persuasive than a consistent minority voice.
Is leadership minority influence?

Process by which certain group members motivate and guide the group.
May be formally elected or emerge informally as the group interacts.
Two types of leadership
Task leadership – organizes work, sets standards, focuses on goals
Social leadership – builds teamwork, mediates conflict, offers support
Traits of an Effective Leader
Consistency, self-confidence, vision, communication skills
Outgoing, energetic, conscientious, agreeable, emotionally stable, self-confident

Your Leadership Style

Your Profile
Task Actions (odd #s)
1. information/opinion giver
3. information/opinion seeker
5. Direction & role definer
7. Summarizer
9. Energizer
11. Comprehension checker

Social Actions (even #s)
2. Encourager of participation
4. Communication facilitator
6. Tension reliever
8. Process observer
10. Interpersonal problem solver
12. Supporter and praiser