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Social Facilitation. Assessing your knowledge Exam Prep. Key Terms. Social Facilitation Social Inhibition Audience Effect Co-action Dominant Response Yerkes-Dodson Law. Key Concepts. Social Facilitation/Inhibition Arousal Theory of Social Facilitation Evaluation Apprehension Theory

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Social Facilitation

Assessing your knowledge

Exam Prep


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Key Terms

  • Social Facilitation

  • Social Inhibition

  • Audience Effect

  • Co-action

  • Dominant Response

  • Yerkes-Dodson Law


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Key Concepts

  • Social Facilitation/Inhibition

  • Arousal Theory of Social Facilitation

  • Evaluation Apprehension Theory

  • Distraction Conflict


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Topics and Studies

  • Social Facilitation

    • Triplett (cyclists and fishing reel)

    • Allport (Multiplication problems, Vowels)

    • Chen (Ants)

    • Dashiell (Audience Effect)

  • Arousal Theory

    • Zajonc (Dominant response)

    • Michaels et al (Pool players)

    • Zajonc (cockroaches)


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  • Evaluation Apprehension Theory

    • Cottrell (basic theory)

    • Henchy and Glass (Performance on tasks in 4 conditions)

  • Distraction-conflict Theory

    • Baron (basic theory)

    • Sanders et al (Copying digits/distraction task)


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Summary Questions

  • What is meant by social facilitation?

  • Give an example of a dominant response?

  • According to arousal theory, why does performance of a simple task in the presence of others result in facilitation?


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Exam Questions

  • What is meant by a dominant response? (2 marks)

  • Studies of social facilitation in animals can be explained by some theories but not by others. Identify one theory that can explain the effect and one that cannot. Explain your answer.

    (4 marks)


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  • Simon has just started to practice gymnastics at a local club. Two days ago he took part in his first competition. There was a large, noisy audience present and halfway through his performance, Simon forgot his routine.

  • With reference to the information above, briefly discuss two psychological explanations for Simon’s poor performance in the competition. (4 marks)