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Chapter 14 - Groups. Obedience/Cooperation What Groups Are and Do Groups, Roles, and Selves Group Action How Groups Think Power and Leadership. Tradeoffs - Prisoner’s Dilemma. Choice is between cooperative response and an antagonistic response

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Chapter 14 - Groups

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chapter 14 groups
Chapter 14 - Groups
  • Obedience/Cooperation
  • What Groups Are and Do
  • Groups, Roles, and Selves
  • Group Action
  • How Groups Think
  • Power and Leadership
tradeoffs prisoner s dilemma
Tradeoffs - Prisoner’s Dilemma
  • Choice is between cooperative response and an antagonistic response
  • Choice is between what is best for one person versus what is best for everyone
  • Non-zero-sum game
  • Following orders from an authority figure
  • Milgram (1963)
    • Majority of participants delivered extreme shocks to a screaming victim in obedience to an authority figure
  • Milgram’s research represented obedience as a negative (negative outcome)
  • Without obedience, society would not function
  • Obedience fosters
    • Social acceptance
    • Group life
what groups are
What Groups Are
  • Groups are two or more people doing or being something together
    • Groups feel similar to one another
    • Presence of an outgroup
    • Direct interactions with each other over a period of time
    • Joint membership in a social category based on sex, race, or other attributes
    • A shared, common fate, identity, or set of goals
what groups do
What Groups Do
  • In human evolution
    • Safety in numbers
    • Help others find food
    • Accomplish tasks that are too difficult for the individual
why join a group
Why Join a Group?

The complexities and ambitions of human life require that we work in groups

Humans have an innate need to belong to groups

Social brain hypothesis

May not only protect against physical threat, but also help gain personal and social identity

what groups do1
What Groups Do
  • Cultural groups
    • Preserve information and pass it along to future generations
    • Use information to organize themselves
    • Benefit from role differentiation and division of labor
tradeoffs diversity in groups
Tradeoffs - Diversity in Groups
  • Diversity involves tradeoffs
    • Can be more creative and flexible
    • Better chance of bringing in different information
    • Can be harder to cooperate and work together
group roles
Group Roles

People’s roles in a group can be formal or informal.

Two fundamental types of roles:

An instrumental role to help the group achieve its tasks

An expressive role to provide emotional support and maintain morale

Beneficial to match roles to each member’s characteristics and skill set

groups roles and selves
Groups, Roles and Selves
  • One main function of a group is to accomplish something.
  • Having unique roles help us work together
  • Roles are defined by the system; exist independent of the person in that role
  • People need to be flexible to take on and drop roles
groups roles and selves1
Groups, Roles, and Selves
  • Deindividuation vs. Differentiation
    • Is it best to be anonymous or openly identified?
  • Example
    • Voting – We keep our vote private to protect ourselves
  • Problems with Deindividuation
    • Aggression, Antisocial behavior
    • Individual beliefs become lost
groups roles and selves2
Groups, Roles, and Selves
  • Optimal distinctiveness theory
    • Tension between the need to be similar to group members and distinctive from them
    • If we feel too similar, we try to become different. If we feel too different, we try to become similar.
  • Identifying people in groups and holding them accountable produces better results
deindividuation and mob violence
Deindividuation and Mob Violence
  • Problems with Deindividuation
    • Aggression, Antisocial behavior
    • Individual beliefs become lost
  • Deindividuation can lead to antisocial behavior
    • Being anonymous to outsiders makes people more willing to violate norms
    • Stop worrying about what others think of them – more willing to behave badly
  • Accountability is best predictor of aggression
deindividuation theory
Deindividuation Theory
  • Deindividuation theory is a social psychological account of the individual in the crowd
  • Deindividuation is a psychological state of decreased self-evaluation, causing anti-normative and disinhibited behavior
  • Zimbardo, Haney, Banks, & Jaffe (1973)
    • One of the all-time great psychological experiments
    • Illustrates deindividuation
stanford prison experiment
Stanford Prison Experiment
  • Thirty years ago, a group of young men were rounded up by Palo Alto police and dropped off at a new jail -- in the Stanford Psychology Department
these were just like real arrests
These were just like real arrests…
  • On a quiet Sunday morning... each was arrested for violation of Penal Codes 211, Armed Robbery or Burglary, a 459 PC
  • Some arrested still vividly remember the shock of having neighbors come out to watch the commotion as TV cameras recorded the hand-cuffing for the “nightly news”
the deindividuation process starts
The deindividuation process starts
  • Guards
    • Uniforms
    • “Weapons”
    • Glasses
  • Prisoners
    • Stripped
    • Numbered
    • Humiliating attire
treated poorly from the start
Treated poorly from the start…
  • Strip searched, sprayed for lice and locked up with chains around their ankles, the "prisoners" were part of an experiment to test people's reactions to power dynamics in social situations
don t mess with us
Don’t mess with us…
  • Other college student volunteers -- the "guards" -- were given authority to dictate 24-hour-a-day rules
it didn t take long
It didn’t take long…
  • Less than 36 hours into the experiment, Prisoner #8612 began suffering from acute emotional disturbance, disorganized thinking, uncontrollable crying, and rage…he was released
a final note
A final note…
  • No guards left the experiment – most seemed to enjoy it
  • The prisoners were abused – some sobbed their way out
it s all in the uniform
It’s all in the “uniform”?
  • Does the traditional police or military uniform bring about a sense of deindividuation?

When else do people wear uniforms?

had to wear jeans today
Had to wear jeans today…
  • Casually dressed teachers achieve higher academic performance and receive fewer disciplinary problems from students (Lang,1986).
  • But in general, studies of the effects of attire on observer perceptions have shown that formal or professional dress is the most positively perceived (e.g., Harris et al., 1983; Bassett, 1979). 
had to wear jeans today1
Had to wear jeans today…
  • The effects of formal versus casual clothing had a different impact on perceived educator traits. Formal clothing tends to improve the perception of credibility, intelligence and competence but hurts observed perceptions of likeability and approachability (e.g., Leathers, 1992).
had to wear jeans today2
Had to wear jeans today…
  • Teachers who dressed formally were viewed as being more organized, knowledgeable, and better prepared (i.e., having enhanced "cool" perceptions), while those wearing less formal clothing were seen as friendlier, flexible, sympathetic, fair and enthusiastic (i.e., better "warm" perceptions) (Rollman, 1990).
group norms
Group Norms

Groups establish norms or rules of conduct for members.

Norms may be either formal or informal.

group cohesiveness
Group Cohesiveness

The forces exerted on a group that push its members closer together.

Cohesiveness and group performance are causally related.

But relationship is complex

groups action
Groups Action
  • Theory of social facilitation (Zajonc, 1965)
    • Presence of others increases arousal
    • Arousal increases dominant response
    • Triplett’s study of cyclists
  • Presence of others can improve people’s performance, especially familiar, easy tasks
groups action1
Groups Action
  • Theory of social facilitation (Zajonc, 1965)
    • Social Inhibition
    • Presence of others increases arousal
    • Arousal decreases a non-dominant response
    • Study of cockroaches (1969)
  • Presence of others can decrease people’s performance on unfamiliar, difficult tasks
social loafing free rider problem
Social Loafing“Free Rider Problem”
  • Ringelmann (1913)
    • Farm workers – as number of workers increased, output did not increase as much.
  • People reduce effort when working in a group
    • Not individually identified or accountable
    • Not wanting to be a ‘sucker’
    • Bad apple effect
social loafing free rider problem1
Social Loafing“Free Rider Problem”
  • Loafing is more likely to occur
    • When members are deindividuated: No individual accountability
    • When others are loafing
    • In men
  • Loafing is less likely to occur
    • When one’s cooperation is unique to the group
    • When the group is meaningful & cohesive
punishing cheaters and free riders
Punishing Cheaters and Free Riders
  • Altruistic punishment
    • People will sometimes sacrifice their own gain, to benefit all, by punishing free riders
    • Goes against Economic theory which suggest we want to maximize our payoffs
  • May be considered guarding the culture
    • Culture depends on a system; cheat the system, ruin it for all
shared resources and the commons dilemma
Shared Resources and the Commons Dilemma
  • Costs of private ownership
    • Inequality
    • Ambition, greed
  • Cost of communal ownership
    • Lack of preserving care
    • Commons dilemma
      • Squandering of shared resources
shared resources and the commons dilemma1
Shared Resources and the Commons Dilemma
  • Conflicts within commons dilemma
    • Social conscience versus selfish impulse
    • Time (Now versus tomorrow)
  • Factors influencing commons dilemma
    • Communication
    • Behavior of others
how groups think
How Groups Think
  • Brainstorming
    • A form of creative thinking
    • People enjoy the process and evaluate it favorably
    • Individuals want to participate in brainstorming
    • BUT: Output is lower than individuals working alone
how groups think1
How Groups Think
  • Collective wisdom of group is better than individual experts
    • People must act as independent members of a group and share their diverse information
    • Examples: Galton’s study and Who Wants to be a Millionaire
why do people love teams
Why Do People Love Teams?
  • Many people believe teams
    • Make better decisions
    • Improve performance
  • People enjoy working on teams
    • Satisfies their need to belong
    • Feel confident, effective and superior
transactive memory
Transactive Memory
  • Members of a small group remember different things
    • Begins at learning stage where group can decide roles for learning different things
  • Tendency of group members to think alike
    • Specifically group clings to shared but flawed view rather than being open to the truth (Janus, 1972, 1982)
    • Roots in desire to get along
  • Factors that encourage groupthink
    • Fairly similar and cohesive group to start
    • Strong, directive leader
    • Group is isolated in some sense from others
    • Group regards itself as superior
    • High Stress
  • Signs of groupthink
    • Pressure toward conformity
    • Appearance of unanimous agreement
      • Self-censorship
    • Illusion of invulnerability
    • Sense of moral superiority
    • Tendency to overestimate opponents
avoiding groupthink
Avoiding Groupthink
  • Leader should be nondirective
  • Norm of openness should be established
  • Outside evaluators should make unannounced visits to observe group dynamics
group polarization and risky shift
Group Polarization and Risky Shift
  • Risky shift
    • Group is willing to take greater risks than individuals (on average)
  • Group polarization effect
    • Movement toward either extreme (risk or caution) resulting from group discussion
  • Why aren’t committees effective?
    • The desire for group harmony stifles free exchange of information
    • Focus on common knowledge rather than unique information people have
  • How can they be effective?
    • Respect each other’s knowledge
    • Share individual knowledge
    • Allow each member to be individually responsible for one task / piece of information
  • Defining a leader
    • someone who holds a formal position of authority
    • someone who is identified as such by the group members
    • someone who has impact on the group
      • transformational leadership describes this last characteristic
leadership functions
Leadership Functions
  • Task leadership
    • getting the job done
  • Socioemotional leadership
    • maintaining group harmony and cohesiveness
measuring leadership effectiveness
Measuring Leadership Effectiveness
  • Production
    • is the job getting done?
  • Satisfaction
    • are the group members happy?
  • Impact
    • does the leader move the group toward achieving its goals?
great person approach to leadership
Great Person Approach to Leadership
  • “Great leaders are born to their leadership”
    • leaders possess some trait that followers do not
    • height and intelligence are examples
    • extraversion, conscientiousness, flexibility predict the emergence of leaders
situational explanations for leadership
Situational Explanations for Leadership
  • Situational factors influence the selection of a leader
    • seating arrangements
    • external threat
    • seniority
leadership person x situation interaction
Leadership: Person X Situation Interaction
  • Contingency model of leadership effectiveness
    • the effectiveness of a particular style of leadership is dependent on situational factors
  • Traits of successful leaders
    • Humble and modest
    • Extreme persistence
  • Traits of people perceived as good leaders
    • Decisive
    • Competent at group tasks
    • Possess integrity
    • Honest and good moral character
    • Have vision
  • One person’s control over another
  • Many powerful seek additional power
    • Relation between power and belongingness Morgenthau (1963)
effects of power on leaders
Effects of Power on Leaders
  • Five crucial effects
    • Feels good
    • Alters attention to rewards and punishment
    • Changes the relationships between people
    • Makes people rely more on automatic processing
    • Removes inhibitions against taking action
effects of power on followers
Effects of Power on Followers
  • Followers pay extra attention to the powerful person and try to understand him/her
  • People with less power will be prone to fostering peace and harmony
  • People low in power adapt to the expectations of high-power people
legitimate leadership
Legitimate Leadership
  • Maintenance of power is often dependent on legitimizing myth
    • Explanation and justification of why powerful people deserve to be in power