Groups: A collection of people who interact, share common goals and
influence how members think and act.
1. Members are interdependent
2. Interaction is the key factor in forming a group
Interdependence: when any action by one member will affect or influence
the other members
1. Critical to the functions of a group
Shared Goals
1. Groups are usually created to perform tasks or to organize
activities that no individual can handle alone.
2. Groups tend to server 2 types of purposes:
a. Task functions – those directed toward getting some
job done
b. Social Functions – those directed toward filling the
emotional needs of the members
Factors that hold a group together:
1. Norms: unwritten rules that govern the behavior and attitudes
of group members
a. Includes rules: shared beliefs about the correct way to
behave and what to believe
aa. May be like tendencies or habits
b. See “Psychology and You” page 549
2. Ideology: having common ideas, attitudes and goals
a. Leaders, heroes, heroines, rallies, books, pamphlets,
slogans, and symbols all help popularize ideologies
3. Commitment
a. The requirement of personal sacrifice increases
individual commitment
b. Paying money, enduring hardship, undergoing
humiliation all increase commitment
c. Participation also strengthens group commitment
aa. Actively participating in group decisions
and sharing the rewards of the group’s
accomplishment, makes one feel better toward
4 Types of Groups
1. In-Group: when group members identify with their group
2. Out-Group: everyone not a member of the in-group; will be rejected and
can be hostile to the in-group
3. Primary Group: group of people who interacts daily; face to face
4. Secondary Group: larger group of people with whom you might have
more impersonal relationships (co-workers, classmates)
Social Facilitation: tendency to perform better in the presence of a group
Social Inhibition: the times when one performs poorly in front of crowds
Many times, how you perform in front of a crowd depends on what you are
The effect of the crowd on your behavior may also be a reflection of your
concern about being evaluated.
Group Structure: the overall interconnection of the roles various members
play in the group and how the roles are interrelated
1. Personal relationships between individual members, the rank of
the member on a particular dimension and the roles they play
2. Role: behavior that is expected of an individual in a group
3. Role Conflict: When roles conflict due to the change in
environment or change in group membership
Decision Making
1. Group Polarization: theory that group discussion reinforces the
majority’s point of view and shifts group member’s opinions to a
more extreme position (Figure 19.5)
a. But, if opinions of a group are equally split on an issue
before a discussion, the group discussion usually then
results in a compromise
2. Groupthink: poor group decision making that occurs as a result of
a group emphasizing unity over critical thinking
Communication Patterns
1. Sociogram: a diagram that represents relationships within a group,
especially likes and dislikes of members for other members
a. Helps psychologists predict how individuals will likely
communicate with other group members.
1. All groups have leaders, those who embody norms, ideals of the
group and represents the group to outsiders
a. Initiates action, gives orders, makes decisions and settles
disputes; very influential
2. 3 Types of leadership styles
a. Authoritarian: Leader makes all decisions and assigns
tasks to group members
b. Laissez-faire: Leader is only minimally involved, group
goals/not leader’s goals, group members make the
c. Democratic: Leader encourages group members to come
to decisions through consensus; leader is viewed as
supportive but not necessarily a good decision maker
Section 1 Review
Movie: The Wave and worksheet. Be prepared to discuss after the video
For more information:
Movie: The Outsiders and worksheet. Be prepared to discuss after the videos
Group Pressure to Conform
1. Conformity: involves any behavior that you engage in because of
direct or indirect group pressure
a. Solomon Asch found that people conform to other
people’s ideas of the truth, even when they disagree
Why Do People Conform
1. Moscovici (1985) – Sometimes a minority view can come to win
over a larger group
a. By disagreeing with the majority view, a person can
reduce the pressure that others feel to conform
b. A minority dissenter may also serve an informational
purpose by making others question whether the majority
view is actually right
c. When people hear a dissenting opinion, they are more
likely to examine the issue more closely, which can lead to a
better solution
2. Solomon Asch (1952) – conducted experiments to see if participants
would conform and respond to match the other group member’s
responses (they did); although they may not have changed their
actual belief
a. This characterized the contrast between public
behavior and private belief
b. Compliance: when we respond to the request of another
person without necessarily changing our beliefs
c. Foot-in-the-door Technique: occurs when you get a
person to agree to a relatively minor request; effort is to turn
the minor approval into a larger commitment
Video Clips:
Conformity Video #1 – Line Length
Conformity Video #2 - Elevator
Obedience – behavior in response to orders given by authorities which can be
useful or destructive
1. Gangs
2. Stanley Milgram (1961) - a Yale University professor who
conducted a series of social psychology experiments which measured
the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who
instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal
Video Clips
Milgram’s Experiment #1
Milgram’s Experiment (Go to 5:19) #2
Milgram’s Experiment Debriefing
3. Philip Zimbardo (1971) - professor emeritus at Stanford, conducted
an experiment studying the effects of becoming either a prisoner or
prison guard. Twenty-four undergraduates were selected to play the
roles of both guards and prisoners and live in a mock prison in the
basement of the Stanford psychology building. Roles were assigned
at random. They adapted to their roles well beyond that expected,
leading the guards to display to authoritarian and even draconian
measures. Two of the prisoners were upset enough by the process to
quit the experiment early, and the entire experiment was abruptly
stopped after only six days. The experimental process and the results
remain controversial.
Video Clips
Stanford Prison Experiment #1
Stanford Prison Experiment #2
Stanford Prison Experiment #3
Stanford Prison Experiment Assignment
Section 2 Review
1. What causes group violence
a. L.A. Riots after the Rodney King police officer verdict
b. My Lai Massacre
c. Would the people have committed the same crimes in a different,
calmer atmosphere
2. What causes humans to act in ways that harm others?
3. Aggression: any behavior that is intended to cause physical or
psychological harm
4. Theories of aggression
a. Biological
aa. Some animals are naturally aggressive; the response is
an innate, biological reaction
bb. Some psychologists say that humans have this same
biological factor or DNA marker , so to speak
b. Cognitive Factors
aa. Children learn through observation and imitation of
their parents
bb. Parents who use corporal punishment to discipline their
children may be teaching their children to be aggressive
cc. The classic: TV, movies, music, video games,; these may
teach aggression or at the minimum desensitizing them;
very questionable, highly contested
c. Personality Factors
aa. Certain traits like impulsiveness with little empathy and
liking to dominate can turn a person into a bully
bb. Aggressive people can be arrogant and egotistical
cc. People can strike out at others as an affirmation of their
dd. Aggressive children tend to be aggressive adults
d. Environmental Factors
aa. Frustration-aggression hypothesis: frustration or failure
to obtain something expected leads to aggression
bb. Frustration doesn’t always lead to aggression,
sometimes it leads to crying
cc. Revised to state that frustration leads to aggression only
in certain circumstances
1. One method to control aggression is through catharsis: releasing
anger or aggression by letting out powerful negative emotions
a. Lots of people believe that any expression of aggression is
b. Expressing aggression could lead to more aggression
2. Punish children for violent behavior and cutting down on violence
they observe
3. Being taught to control their aggression
a. Accept frustration and move on
b. React to disappointments in ways other than violence
1. Altruism: helping another, often with a risk to oneself, for reasons other
than the expectation of a reward
2. Diffusion of Responsibility
a. Diffusion of responsibility: the presence of others lessens an
individual’s feelings of responsibility for his/her actions or failure to
a. Kitty Genovese murder
b. James Bulger abduction and murder
c. Mount Everest Incidents (Watch “Into the Death Zone” – Horton DVD)
aa. David Sharp
bb. Beck Weathers
cc. Lincoln Hall
3. Bystander effect: an individual does not take action because of the
presence of others
4. Social loafing: the tendency to work less hard when sharing the
workloads with others
5. Deindividuation: when individuals behave irrationally when there is less
chance of being personally identified
a. People becoming involved in a riot or looting
b. People in a crowd feeling anonymous
Section 3 Review
Chapter 19 Study Guide
Chapter 19 Test