Psych Ch. 19 Notes

Chapter 19: Group Interaction
Section 1
Exploring Psychology Reading
What are Groups
a. Group – A collection of people who interact, share common goals and
influence how members think and act
i. Members are interdependent
ii. Interaction is the key factor in forming a group
b. Interdependence – when any action by one member will affect or
influence the other members
c. Communication
i. Critical to the functions of a group
d. Shared Goals
i. Groups are usually created to perform tasks or to organize
activities that no individual can handle alone
ii. Groups tend to serve 2 types of purposes:
1. Task functions – those directed toward getting some job
2. Social functions – those directed toward filling the
emotional needs of members
How Groups are Held Together
a. Factors that hold a group together
i. Norms – unwritten rules that govern the behavior and attitudes of
group members
1. Include rules – shared beliefs about the correct way to
behave and what to believe
a. May be like tendencies or habits
ii. Ideology – having common ideas, attitudes and goals
1. Leaders, heroes, heroines, rallies, books, pamphlets,
slogans and symbols all help popularize ideologies
iii. Commitment
1. The requirement of personal sacrifice increases individual
2. Paying money, enduring hardship, undergoing humiliation
all increase commitment
3. Participation also strengthens group commitment
a. Actively participating in group decisions and
sharing the rewards of the group’s accomplishment,
makes one feel better toward membership
b. Types of groups
i. 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 (family)
4. Secondary group – larger group of people with whom you
might have more impersonal relationships (co-workers,
c. Social Facilitation versus Social Inhibition
i. Social facilitation - tendency to perform better in the presence of
a group
ii. Social inhibition – the times when one performs poorly in front of
iii. Many times how you perform in front of a crowd depends on what
you are doing
iv. The effect of a crowd on your behavior may also be a reflection of
your concern about being evaluated
d. Interactions within groups
i. 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 the 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
ii. 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
a. But, if opinions of a group are equally split on an
issue before a discussion, the group discussion
usually then results in compromise
2. Groupthink – poor group decision making that occurs as a
result of a group emphasizing unity over critical thinking
iii. Communication Patterns
1. Sociogram – a diagram that represents relationships within
a group, especially likes and dislikes of members for other
a. Helps psychologists predict how individuals will
likely communicate with other group members
iv. Leadership
1. All groups have leaders, those who embody norms, ideals
of the group and represents the group to outsiders
a. Initiates action, gives orders, make decisions and
settles disputers; very influential
2. 3 Leadership styles
a. Authoritarian
i. Leader makes all the decisions and assigns
tasks to group members
b. Laissez-faire
i. Leader is only minimally involved in a
group’s decision making
ii. Group’s goals not the leader’s are pursued
iii. Group members make all the decisions
c. Democratic
i. Leader encourages group members to come
to decisions through consensus
ii. Viewed as supportive but not good decision
Movie – The Wave
Movie – The Outsiders
Section 2
Group Pressure to Conform
a. Conformity – involves any behavior that you engage in because of direct
or indirect group pressure
i. Solomon Asch found that people conform to other people’s ideas
of the truth, even when they disagree, Asch Experiment
b. Why do people conform
i. According to some experiments:
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. Asch (1952) – participants conformed, they responded to
match the other group member’s responses (although they
may not have changed their actual belief)
a. Video Clips
i. ..\..\Video Clips\Group Conformity\Asch
ii. ..\..\Video Clips\Group Conformity\Elevator
Psychology Conformity.flv
b. This characterized the contrast between public
behavior and private belief
i. Compliance – when we respond to the
request of another person without
necessarily changing our beliefs
ii. Foot-in-the-door technique – occurs when you get a person to
agree to a relatively minor request
1. Salesmen
Obedience to Authority
a. Obedience – behavior in response to orders given by authorities which
can be useful or destructive
b. Gangs
c. The Milgram Experiment
i. Video Clips
1. ..\..\Video Clips\Group Conformity\Milgram Shock
2. ..\..\Video Clips\Group Conformity\Stanley Milgram Go to
3. ..\..\Video Clips\Group Conformity\Milgram Shock
Experiment (Debriefing).flv
d. The Zimbardo Experiment
i. Webquest/Worksheet
ii. Videos
1. ..\..\Video Clips\Group Conformity\The Stanford Prison
Experiment pt. 1 of 3.flv
2. ..\..\Video Clips\Group Conformity\The Stanford Prison
Experiment pt. 2 of 3.flv
3. ..\..\Video Clips\Group Conformity\The Stanford Prison
Experiment pt. 3 of 3.flv
iii. Stanford Prison Experiment
e. Cults/Manson
f. Case Study: Your Stripes or Your Morality
Section 3
a. What causes group violence
i. L.A. Riots
ii. Would these people have committed the same crimes in a different,
calmer atmosphere
b. What causes humans to act in ways that harm others
c. Aggression – any behavior that is intended to cause physical or
psychological harm.
d. Theories of Aggression
i. Biological Influences
1. Some animals are naturally aggressive; the response is an
innate, biological reaction
2. Some psychologists say that humans have this same
biological factor or DNA marker, so to speak
a. BUT, they also say that one can NOT label
aggression as caused only by biological factors
ii. Cognitive Factors
1. Children learn through observation and imitation of their
2. Parents who use aggression (corporal punishment) to
discipline their children may be teaching their children to
use aggression
3. The classic (take this anyway you want) TV, movies,
music, video games may be teaching aggressive behavior to
a. They grow immune to the horror of violence, accept
violence as a way to solving problems, imitate the
violence they observe and identify with certain
characters that could be victims or victimizers
b. Doesn’t take into account the exceedingly majority
of the population that are encapsulated in all of the
above mentioned media yet do not become
iii. Personality Factors
1. Certain traits like impulsiveness with little empathy and
liking to dominate can turn a person into a bully
2. Aggressive people can be arrogant and egotistical
3. People can strike out at others as an affirmation of their
4. Aggressive children tend to be aggressive adults
iv. Environmental Factors
1. Frustration-aggression hypothesis – frustration or failure
to obtain something expected leads to aggression
a. Frustration doesn’t always lead to aggression,
sometimes it leads to crying
b. Revised to state that frustration leads to aggression
only in certain circumstances
Controlling Aggression
a. One method to control aggression is through catharsis – releasing anger
or aggression by letting out powerful negative emotions
i. Lots of people believe that any expression of aggression is
ii. Expressing aggression could lead to more aggression
b. Punish children for violent behavior and cutting down on violence they
c. Being taught to control their aggression
i. Accept frustration and move on
ii. React to disappointments in ways other than violence
a. Altruism – helping another, often with a risk to oneself, for reasons other
than the expectation of a reward
b. Diffusion of Responsibility
i. Kitty Genovese
ii. James Bulger abduction and murder
iii. Diffusion of responsibility – the presence of others lessens an
individual’s feelings of responsibility for his or her actions or
failure to act
iv. Bystander effect – an individual does not take action because of
the presence of others
c. Social Loafing
i. Social loafing – the tendency to work less hard when sharing the
workload with others
d. Deindividuation
i. Deindividuation – when individuals behave irrationally when
there is less chance of being personally identified
1. People becoming involved in a riot
2. People in the crowd feel anonymous