is a collection of individuals who interact with each other, often
for a common purpose or activity. Why do people come together
in groups? There are two basic functions of groups - to get work
done and to handle relationships among the group members. The
leaders of the group also serve two functions as well - to guide
the group to achieve its goals and to help the groups function
of mutual support and cohesion.
Social facilitation is the term
for the beneficial effect on performance that results from the
perceived presence of others. For example, in a competitive race
- the presence of opponents will cause the person to try even
harder to succeed. Social inhibition is the detrimental effect
on performance that results from the perceived presence of other
people. There is a theory known as the distraction-conflict theory
that holds that it is not the presence of another individual or
apprehension that one may be being evaluated by others, but the
distraction that is caused by having other people around.
Social loafing is the term that
is applied to the situation where when in a group, the individuals
that make up the group reduce their effort the larger the group
gets. This is due to the fact that others feel that they do not
need to work as hard as others, they are going to do the work
and have lack of co-ordination of efforts which will decrease
the groups production.
Group polarisation is the exaggeration
of the initial views of members of a group, through group interaction.
If members of a group on average initially tend towards taking
risks, the group as a whole will tend to exaggerate this risk
taking tendency. Group polarization occurs because of two factors.
New information is on factor, as people initially believe that
they have a point of view that they believe, but in a group, they
hear new information and arguments supporting their points of
view, that they have not thought of before. They thus become even
stronger in their convictions. The second effect is movement toward
the group norm. As people meet others who support their point
of view, and as they receive social approval from them, they begin
to move in the direction of the group norm.
Conflict resolution occurs in
any group of individuals where all opinions may not be the same.
There are ways that people resolve these inter-group and inter-group
conflicts. People have particular goals in resolving conflicts.
They may have a co-operation orientation and be seeking to maximize
both their outcomes and those of others, or they may have an individualistic
orientation and are seeking to only maximize their own outcomes,
they may have a competitive orientation and be seeking to maximize
their own outcomes at the expense of others, or they may have
altruistic orientation and be seeking only to maximize the outcomes
As well, people may have certain
strategies that they use to resolve their conflicts. This may
include physical force, economic force, seeking to defuse the
conflict and mediation.