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WHAT DEFINES A GROUP?

  • A group is defined as two or more people who appear to be united to some extent. Most groups are formed intentionally and have members who know each other personally and work together in order to achieve a common goal. Some groups, however, are formed solely as a result of common characteristics, such as race or gender.

  • Most groups possess common motives and goals, as well as established roles and clear statuses, meaning that there is a social rank or hierarchy of dominance among group members. Groups are also characterized by their accepted norms and values, as well as a clear system of rewards and penalties when those norms are adhered to or violated.

HOW DOES A GROUP INFLUENCE INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR?

  • Social facilitation affects individual behaviour in that the presence of other people can drive a person to perform better than when alone. The effects of social loafing on individual behaviour can be seen when a group task causes some members to put forth less effort when they know others will carry the weight of the project.

  • De–individuation affects an individual when a person lets go of self–consciousness and control and does what the group is doing, usually with negative goals or outcomes. This occurs when a person is moved by the group experience and does things that, without the group for support, she would not normally do.

HOW DOES A GROUP MAKE DECISIONS?

  • Many groups are moved to make decisions after group polarization has occurred. Group polarization is the tendency for an attitude or belief to become magnified for group members after discussing an issue with the group. The dominant attitude among group members becomes stronger when people discuss their feelings—whether favourable or oppositional—about a certain topic.

  • Groups often make decisions when influenced by groupthink. This manner of thinking happens when group members, faced with an important choice, become so focused on making a smooth, quick
    decision that they overlook other, possibly more fruitful, options.The mentality of the group can actually produce negative results because their desire for harmony supersedes a practical evaluation of other solutions. Being caught up in the group's goals can skew decision making and produce unanticipated consequences.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF GROUP CONFLICT?

  • Conflict often exists within groups through incompatible goals or ideas. Groups may experience conflict due to competition for resources (realistic group conflict), attributional biases, communication errors, and biased perceptions of the intentions of others.

HOW ARE CONFLICTS AMONG GROUPS RESOLVED?

  • Groups typically use the process of bargaining in order to resolve conflict. This involves the two disputing parties coming together to discuss ideas for resolving their disagreements. Bargaining typically includes each party making offers, counteroffers, and concessions in order to reach a resolution.

  • GRIT is a method that allows parties to work gradually through a problem with the use of compromises. One party begins to weaken the conflict by making a small concession to the opposing side and by asking them to concede something as well.If the adversary accepts the concession and makes an
    equal compromise, then the first party makes a second concession, setting in place a chain of peacemaking measures.