Social Psychology of Behaviour in Small Groups   no comments

Posted at 1:17 pm in Psychology,Sociology

Currently reading:  Introduction to social psychology: a European perspective, Hewstone and Stroebe.

I have found loads of information on behaviour within small groups but need to find more about why people join these groups in the first place.

Reasons for Joining:

  • Family influence / peer pressure (nuture not nature).
  • Prosocial behaviour and influence.
  • Modelling – “The tendency for individuals to acquire new (and more complex) forms of behaviour by observing this behaviour and its consequences in real-life or symbolic models.”

Social Influence in Small Groups:

  • Autokinetic Effect – “Where confronted with an unstructured and ambiguous stimulus, people nevertheless develop a stable internal frame of reference against which to judge the stimulus. However, as soon as they are confronted with the different judgements of others, they quickly abandon this frame of reference so as to adjust it to that of others.”
  • After-Image – Experiment showing that people’s perceptions will change in order to maintain their position in the majority.
  • Conversion – “A change in covert behaviour after exposure to others’ opinions (internalised change)”
  • Compliance – “A change in overt behaviour after exposure to others’ opinions”
  • Innovation – “Social influence resulting from exposure to the opinions of a minority group.”
  • Conformity – “Social influence resulting from exposure to the opinions of a majority group, or the majority of one’s group”
  • Group Polarisation – “A change in the average position of a group, following group discussion, in the direction of the initially dominant pole.”
  • Groupthink – “A group decision process, strongly oriented towards consensus, among like-minded and cohesive individuals, emanating in one-sided and incorrect conclusions.”
  • Informational Influence – “Influence based on the informational value of opinions expressed by others, on what they tell a person about an aspect of reality.”
  • Normative Influence – “Influence based on the need to be accepted and approved by others.”
  • Self-categorisation – “Group behaviour emphasizing the impact of self-definitions at different levels of abstraction (individual, group, humanity) on judgement and behaviour.”
  • Social Comparison – “comparing one’s own behaviour to others’ in order to evaluate the correctness and adequacy of own behaviour”
  • Social Influence – “A change in the judgments, opinions and attitudes of an individual as a result of being exposed to the views of others”

Still to research: people’s need to be accepted and conformism in extremist groups.

Written by Simon Hearne on February 26th, 2010

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