Chapter 8 Groups and Group Behaviour. What are the characteristics of groups? Do groups have a positive or negative effect on people? Is conformity a good thing?. Ask yourself…. How much of your behaviour is influenced by the groups you are a part of ?
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What are the characteristics of groups?
Do groups have a positive or negative effect on people?
Is conformity a good thing?
How much of your behaviour is influenced by the groups you are a part of ?
Could you be pressured by a group to do something you believed is wrong?
What if someone in a position of authority told you to hurt someone, would you do it?
A social group is
two or more people who interact often
influence each other
have a shared identity
a social structure – formal or informal eg. Leaders and followers
Group consensus (agreement, stated or implied) on certain values, behaviour and goals
A collection of people
Interact only briefly
Little influence on one another
Primary groups –
small, emotionally close, interdependent group whose members see one another often, know one another well and value each member as a whole person
a large more impersonal group that has limited information, dependence or interest from its members except for their contribution to the group goals
We learn what is expected of each role
Social groups pressure us to conform
Behaviour expectations or guidelines
a) mores – highly regarded moral views on behaviour, almost never broken
b) folkways – everyday habits or traditional practices concerning things such as manners or personal appearance
informal - Eg. A smile or a frown
formal – public rewards or punishments Eg. A suspension or a scholarship
Four factors that determine whether or not a person will conform to a group
1. Group attractiveness – the more attractive the group is to its members (how much they like, admire or want to be a part of the group), the more likely the are to conform
2. Group unanimity – when a group is in seemingly total agreement, there is great pressure to conform
3. Public vs. private response – when a person has to give their opinion in front of the group they are more likely to conform their opinion to match the groups’
4. Nature of the task – tasks or questions that are vague or have no clear answer are easier to have people conform to. When they are clearer, factual or on a topic you feel competent about you are less likely to conform
Asch's Conformity Experiment
Groupthink – when group members have such a strong desire to reach a consensus they don’t examine all of the options or consequences
Example of Group Think
Dangerous Group Think
Fast Food Con Man
Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment