Group Dynamics


Group Dynamics

Group Dynamics

• How individuals affect groups and how groups affect individuals

• Size of the group is significant

– Dyad- 2 ppl smallest most fragile of all human groupings

– Triad- 3 ppl bond between 2 of the members is stronger, someone left out

– As more members are added stability increases but intimacy decreases

Effects of Group Size on Behavior

• As it grows there is a diffusion of responsibility

– Think about group work, the more people in the group the less you actually have to do

• As it grows, the group loses it sense of intimacy

– Group becomes more formal

• As it grows, group tends to divide into smaller groups

– cliques

Group Leaders

• People who influence the behavior, opinions, or attitudes of others

• Who becomes a leader?

– People who are perceived by group members as strongly representing their values or as able to lead a group out of a crisis

Types of leaders

• 2 types of leaders:

– Instrumental (task-oriented)- try to keep the group moving toward its goal

– Expressive (socioemotional) those who are less likely to be recognized as leaders but help with the group’s morale

• 3 types of leadership styles:

– Authoritarian leaders- those who give orders and don’t explain why they praise or condemn a person’s work

– Democratic leaders- those who try and gain a consensus by explaining proposed actions, suggesting alternative approaches and giving facts as the basis for evaluation

– Laissez-faire leaders- those who are passive and give the group almost total freedom to do as they wish

Which style do you think is the best?

Brain Teaser

• Lets try a little brain teaser!!!


• Of the fifty people tested, 33 percent always gave the incorrect answers at least half of the time because of peer pressure, even though they knew the answers were wrong. Only 25 percent always gave the right answer despite the peer pressure.

Peer Pressure

• A study by Dr. Soloman Asch indicated that people are greatly influenced by peer pressure

• The group is so powerful that most people are willing to say things that they know are not true just to go along

Think about these question:

• If the leader of your “clique” asked you to post a rumor on someone’s facebook wall, would you?

• If the leader of your “clique” asked you to fight someone, would you?

• If the leader of your “clique” asked you to execute someone would you?

Milgram Experiment

Power of Authority

• Groupthink- coined by Irving Janis to refer to the collective tunnel vision that group members sometimes develop

– As they begin to think alike, they become convinced that there is only one “right” viewpoint and a single course of action

– Comes with great consequences

• Post 9/11 and Guantanamo Bay

New Essay Questions (10 points)

• Identify your in-groups and your out-groups.

How have your in-groups influenced the way you see the world? And what influence have your out-groups had on you?

• Milgram’s and Asch’s experiments illustrate the power of peer pressure. How has peer pressure operated in your life? Think about something that you did not want to do but did anyway because of peer pressure.