NCERT Textbook - Social Influence and Group Processes Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Psychology Class 12

Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Social Influence and Group Processes Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES
SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES
Introduction
Nature and Formation of Groups
Groupthink (Box 7.1)
Type of Groups
The Minimal Group Paradigm Experiments (Box 7.2)
Influence of Group on Individual Behaviour
Social Loafing
Group Polarisation
Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
The Autokinetic Effect (Box 7.3)
Group Pressure and Conformity : The Asch Experiment (Box 7.4)
Cooperation and Competition
Sherif’s Summer Camp Experiments (Box 7.5)
Determinants of Cooperation and Competition
Social Identity
Intergroup Conflict : Nature and Causes
Conflict Resolution Strategies
CONTENTS
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Weblinks
Pedagogical Hints
After reading this chapter, you would be able to:
understand the nature and types of groups and know how they are formed,
examine the influence of group on individual behaviour,
describe the process of cooperation and competition,
reflect on the importance of social identity, and
understand the nature of intergroup conflict and examine conflict resolution strategies.
Page 2


SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES
SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES
Introduction
Nature and Formation of Groups
Groupthink (Box 7.1)
Type of Groups
The Minimal Group Paradigm Experiments (Box 7.2)
Influence of Group on Individual Behaviour
Social Loafing
Group Polarisation
Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
The Autokinetic Effect (Box 7.3)
Group Pressure and Conformity : The Asch Experiment (Box 7.4)
Cooperation and Competition
Sherif’s Summer Camp Experiments (Box 7.5)
Determinants of Cooperation and Competition
Social Identity
Intergroup Conflict : Nature and Causes
Conflict Resolution Strategies
CONTENTS
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Weblinks
Pedagogical Hints
After reading this chapter, you would be able to:
understand the nature and types of groups and know how they are formed,
examine the influence of group on individual behaviour,
describe the process of cooperation and competition,
reflect on the importance of social identity, and
understand the nature of intergroup conflict and examine conflict resolution strategies.
Psychology
130
NATURE AND FORMATION OF GROUPS
What is a Group?
The preceding introduction illustrates the
importance of groups in our lives. One
question that comes to mind is: “How are
groups (e.g., your family, class, and the
group with which you play) different from
other collections of people?” For example,
people who have assembled to watch a
cricket match or your school function are
at one place, but are not interdependent
on each other. They do not have defined
roles, status and expectations from each
other. In the case of your family, class, and
the group with which you play, you
will realise that there is mutual
interdependence, each member has roles,
there are status differentials, and there are
expectations from each other. Thus, your
Think about your day-to-day life and the various social interactions you
have. In the morning, before going to school, you interact with your family
members; in school, you discuss topics and issues with your teachers and
classmates; and after school you phone up, visit or play with your friends.
In each of these instances, you are part of a group which not only provides
you the needed support and comfort but also facilitates your growth and
development as an individual. Have you ever been away to a place where
you were without your family, school, and friends?  How did you feel?  Did
you feel there was something vital missing in your life?
    Our lives are influenced by the nature of group membership we have.  It
is, therefore, important to be part of groups which would influence us
positively and help us in becoming good citizens. In this chapter, we shall
try to understand what groups are and how they influence our behaviour.
At this point, it is also important to acknowledge that not only do others
influence us, but we, as individuals, are also capable of changing others
and the society. The benefits of cooperation and competition and how they
influence our personal and social lives will also be examined. We will also
see how identity develops — how we come to know ourselves. Similarly,
we would try to understand why sometimes group conflicts arise; examine
the perils of group conflict and apprise ourselves of various conflict resolution
strategies so that we are able to contribute towards making a harmonious
and cohesive society.
Introduction
family, class and playgroup are examples
of groups and are different from other
collections of people.
A group may be defined as an organised
system of two or more individuals, who are
interacting and interdependent, who have
common motives, have a set of role
relationships among its members, and have
norms that regulate the behaviour of its
members.
  Groups have the following salient
characteristics :
? A social unit consisting of two or more
individuals who perceive themselves
as belonging to the group. This
characteristic of the group helps in
distinguishing one group from the
other and gives the group its unique
identity.
? A collection of individuals who have
common motives and goals. Groups
Page 3


SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES
SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES
Introduction
Nature and Formation of Groups
Groupthink (Box 7.1)
Type of Groups
The Minimal Group Paradigm Experiments (Box 7.2)
Influence of Group on Individual Behaviour
Social Loafing
Group Polarisation
Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
The Autokinetic Effect (Box 7.3)
Group Pressure and Conformity : The Asch Experiment (Box 7.4)
Cooperation and Competition
Sherif’s Summer Camp Experiments (Box 7.5)
Determinants of Cooperation and Competition
Social Identity
Intergroup Conflict : Nature and Causes
Conflict Resolution Strategies
CONTENTS
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Weblinks
Pedagogical Hints
After reading this chapter, you would be able to:
understand the nature and types of groups and know how they are formed,
examine the influence of group on individual behaviour,
describe the process of cooperation and competition,
reflect on the importance of social identity, and
understand the nature of intergroup conflict and examine conflict resolution strategies.
Psychology
130
NATURE AND FORMATION OF GROUPS
What is a Group?
The preceding introduction illustrates the
importance of groups in our lives. One
question that comes to mind is: “How are
groups (e.g., your family, class, and the
group with which you play) different from
other collections of people?” For example,
people who have assembled to watch a
cricket match or your school function are
at one place, but are not interdependent
on each other. They do not have defined
roles, status and expectations from each
other. In the case of your family, class, and
the group with which you play, you
will realise that there is mutual
interdependence, each member has roles,
there are status differentials, and there are
expectations from each other. Thus, your
Think about your day-to-day life and the various social interactions you
have. In the morning, before going to school, you interact with your family
members; in school, you discuss topics and issues with your teachers and
classmates; and after school you phone up, visit or play with your friends.
In each of these instances, you are part of a group which not only provides
you the needed support and comfort but also facilitates your growth and
development as an individual. Have you ever been away to a place where
you were without your family, school, and friends?  How did you feel?  Did
you feel there was something vital missing in your life?
    Our lives are influenced by the nature of group membership we have.  It
is, therefore, important to be part of groups which would influence us
positively and help us in becoming good citizens. In this chapter, we shall
try to understand what groups are and how they influence our behaviour.
At this point, it is also important to acknowledge that not only do others
influence us, but we, as individuals, are also capable of changing others
and the society. The benefits of cooperation and competition and how they
influence our personal and social lives will also be examined. We will also
see how identity develops — how we come to know ourselves. Similarly,
we would try to understand why sometimes group conflicts arise; examine
the perils of group conflict and apprise ourselves of various conflict resolution
strategies so that we are able to contribute towards making a harmonious
and cohesive society.
Introduction
family, class and playgroup are examples
of groups and are different from other
collections of people.
A group may be defined as an organised
system of two or more individuals, who are
interacting and interdependent, who have
common motives, have a set of role
relationships among its members, and have
norms that regulate the behaviour of its
members.
  Groups have the following salient
characteristics :
? A social unit consisting of two or more
individuals who perceive themselves
as belonging to the group. This
characteristic of the group helps in
distinguishing one group from the
other and gives the group its unique
identity.
? A collection of individuals who have
common motives and goals. Groups
Chapter 7 ? Social Influence and Group Processes
131
function either working towards a given
goal, or away from certain threats
facing the group.
? A collection of individuals who are
interdependent, i.e. what one is doing
may have consequences for others.
Suppose one of the fielders in a cricket
team drops an important catch during
a match — this will have consequence
for the entire team.
? Individuals who are trying to satisfy a
need through their joint association
also influence each other.
? A gathering of individuals who interact
with one another either directly or
indirectly.
? A collection of individuals whose
interactions are structured by a set of
roles and norms. This means that the
group members perform the same
functions every time the group meets
and the group members adhere to
group norms. Norms tell us how we
ought to behave in the group and
specify the behaviours expected from
group members.
Groups can be differentiated from other
collections of people. For example, a crowd
is also a collection of people who may be
present at a place/situation by chance.
Suppose you are going on the road and an
accident takes place. Soon a large number
of people tend to collect. This is an example
of a crowd. There is neither any structure
nor feeling of belongingness in a crowd.
Behaviour of people in crowds is irrational
and there is no interdependence among
members.
Teams are special kinds of groups.
Members of teams often have comple-
mentary skills and are committed to a
common goal or purpose. Members are
mutually accountable for their activities. In
teams, there is a positive synergy attained
through the coordinated efforts of the
members. The main differences between
groups and teams are:
? In groups, performance is dependent
on contributions of individual
members.  In teams, both individual
contributions and teamwork matter.
? In groups, the leader or whoever is
heading the group holds responsibility
for the work. However in teams,
although there is a leader, members
hold themselves responsible.
Fig.7.1 : Look at these Two Pictures
Picture A shows a football team — a group in which members interact with one another, have roles and
goals. Picture B depicts an audience watching the football match — a mere collection of people who by
some coincidence (may be their interest in football) happened to be in the same place at the same time.
Picture A Picture B
Page 4


SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES
SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES
Introduction
Nature and Formation of Groups
Groupthink (Box 7.1)
Type of Groups
The Minimal Group Paradigm Experiments (Box 7.2)
Influence of Group on Individual Behaviour
Social Loafing
Group Polarisation
Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
The Autokinetic Effect (Box 7.3)
Group Pressure and Conformity : The Asch Experiment (Box 7.4)
Cooperation and Competition
Sherif’s Summer Camp Experiments (Box 7.5)
Determinants of Cooperation and Competition
Social Identity
Intergroup Conflict : Nature and Causes
Conflict Resolution Strategies
CONTENTS
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Weblinks
Pedagogical Hints
After reading this chapter, you would be able to:
understand the nature and types of groups and know how they are formed,
examine the influence of group on individual behaviour,
describe the process of cooperation and competition,
reflect on the importance of social identity, and
understand the nature of intergroup conflict and examine conflict resolution strategies.
Psychology
130
NATURE AND FORMATION OF GROUPS
What is a Group?
The preceding introduction illustrates the
importance of groups in our lives. One
question that comes to mind is: “How are
groups (e.g., your family, class, and the
group with which you play) different from
other collections of people?” For example,
people who have assembled to watch a
cricket match or your school function are
at one place, but are not interdependent
on each other. They do not have defined
roles, status and expectations from each
other. In the case of your family, class, and
the group with which you play, you
will realise that there is mutual
interdependence, each member has roles,
there are status differentials, and there are
expectations from each other. Thus, your
Think about your day-to-day life and the various social interactions you
have. In the morning, before going to school, you interact with your family
members; in school, you discuss topics and issues with your teachers and
classmates; and after school you phone up, visit or play with your friends.
In each of these instances, you are part of a group which not only provides
you the needed support and comfort but also facilitates your growth and
development as an individual. Have you ever been away to a place where
you were without your family, school, and friends?  How did you feel?  Did
you feel there was something vital missing in your life?
    Our lives are influenced by the nature of group membership we have.  It
is, therefore, important to be part of groups which would influence us
positively and help us in becoming good citizens. In this chapter, we shall
try to understand what groups are and how they influence our behaviour.
At this point, it is also important to acknowledge that not only do others
influence us, but we, as individuals, are also capable of changing others
and the society. The benefits of cooperation and competition and how they
influence our personal and social lives will also be examined. We will also
see how identity develops — how we come to know ourselves. Similarly,
we would try to understand why sometimes group conflicts arise; examine
the perils of group conflict and apprise ourselves of various conflict resolution
strategies so that we are able to contribute towards making a harmonious
and cohesive society.
Introduction
family, class and playgroup are examples
of groups and are different from other
collections of people.
A group may be defined as an organised
system of two or more individuals, who are
interacting and interdependent, who have
common motives, have a set of role
relationships among its members, and have
norms that regulate the behaviour of its
members.
  Groups have the following salient
characteristics :
? A social unit consisting of two or more
individuals who perceive themselves
as belonging to the group. This
characteristic of the group helps in
distinguishing one group from the
other and gives the group its unique
identity.
? A collection of individuals who have
common motives and goals. Groups
Chapter 7 ? Social Influence and Group Processes
131
function either working towards a given
goal, or away from certain threats
facing the group.
? A collection of individuals who are
interdependent, i.e. what one is doing
may have consequences for others.
Suppose one of the fielders in a cricket
team drops an important catch during
a match — this will have consequence
for the entire team.
? Individuals who are trying to satisfy a
need through their joint association
also influence each other.
? A gathering of individuals who interact
with one another either directly or
indirectly.
? A collection of individuals whose
interactions are structured by a set of
roles and norms. This means that the
group members perform the same
functions every time the group meets
and the group members adhere to
group norms. Norms tell us how we
ought to behave in the group and
specify the behaviours expected from
group members.
Groups can be differentiated from other
collections of people. For example, a crowd
is also a collection of people who may be
present at a place/situation by chance.
Suppose you are going on the road and an
accident takes place. Soon a large number
of people tend to collect. This is an example
of a crowd. There is neither any structure
nor feeling of belongingness in a crowd.
Behaviour of people in crowds is irrational
and there is no interdependence among
members.
Teams are special kinds of groups.
Members of teams often have comple-
mentary skills and are committed to a
common goal or purpose. Members are
mutually accountable for their activities. In
teams, there is a positive synergy attained
through the coordinated efforts of the
members. The main differences between
groups and teams are:
? In groups, performance is dependent
on contributions of individual
members.  In teams, both individual
contributions and teamwork matter.
? In groups, the leader or whoever is
heading the group holds responsibility
for the work. However in teams,
although there is a leader, members
hold themselves responsible.
Fig.7.1 : Look at these Two Pictures
Picture A shows a football team — a group in which members interact with one another, have roles and
goals. Picture B depicts an audience watching the football match — a mere collection of people who by
some coincidence (may be their interest in football) happened to be in the same place at the same time.
Picture A Picture B
Psychology
132
An audience is also a collection of
people who have assembled for a special
purpose, may be to watch a cricket match
or a movie. Audiences are generally passive
but sometimes they go into a frenzy and
become mobs. In mobs, there is a definite
sense of purpose. There is polarisation in
attention, and actions of persons are in a
common direction. Mob behaviour is
characterised by homogeneity of thought
and behaviour as well as impulsivity.
Why Do People Join Groups?
All of you are members of your family,
class and groups with which you interact
or play. Similarly, other people are also
members of a number of groups at any
given time. Different groups satisfy
different needs, and therefore, we are
simultaneously members of different
groups. This sometimes creates pressures
for us because there may be competing
demands and expectations. Most often we
are able to handle these competing
demands and expectations. People join
groups because these groups satisfy a
range of needs. In general, people join
groups for the following reasons :
? Security : When we are alone, we feel
insecure. Groups reduce this
insecurity. Being with people gives a
sense of comfort, and protection. As a
result, people feel stronger, and are less
vulnerable to threats.
? Status : When we are members of a
group that is perceived to be important
by others, we feel recognised and
experience a sense of power. Suppose
your school wins in an inter-
institutional debate competition, you
feel proud and think that you are better
than others.
? Self-esteem : Groups provide feelings of
self-worth and establish a positive social
identity. Being a member of prestigious
groups enhances one’s self-concept.
? Satisfaction of one’s psychological
and social needs : Groups satisfy one’s
social and psychological needs such as
sense of belongingness, giving and
receiving attention, love, and power
through a group.
? Goal achievement : Groups help in
achieving such goals which cannot be
attained individually. There is power in
the majority.
? Provide knowledge and information :
Group membership provides knowledge
and information and thus broadens our
view. As individuals, we may not have
all the required information. Groups
supplement this information and
knowledge.
Group Formation
In this section, we will see how groups are
formed. Basic to group formation is some
contact and some form of interaction
between people. This interaction is
facilitated by the following conditions:
? Proximity : Just think about your
group of friends. Would you have been
friends if you were not living in the
same colony, or going to the same
school, or may be playing in the same
playground? Probably your answer
would be ‘No’. Repeated interactions
with the same set of individuals give us
a chance to know them, and their
interests and attitudes. Common
interests, attitudes, and background
are important determinants of your
liking for your group members.
?  Similarity : Being exposed to someone
over a period of time makes us assess
our similarities and paves the way for
formation of groups. Why do we like
people who are similar? Psychologists
have given several explanations for this.
One explanation is that people prefer
consistency and like relationships that
are consistent. When two people are
Page 5


SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES
SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND GROUP PROCESSES
Introduction
Nature and Formation of Groups
Groupthink (Box 7.1)
Type of Groups
The Minimal Group Paradigm Experiments (Box 7.2)
Influence of Group on Individual Behaviour
Social Loafing
Group Polarisation
Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
The Autokinetic Effect (Box 7.3)
Group Pressure and Conformity : The Asch Experiment (Box 7.4)
Cooperation and Competition
Sherif’s Summer Camp Experiments (Box 7.5)
Determinants of Cooperation and Competition
Social Identity
Intergroup Conflict : Nature and Causes
Conflict Resolution Strategies
CONTENTS
Key Terms
Summary
Review Questions
Project Ideas
Weblinks
Pedagogical Hints
After reading this chapter, you would be able to:
understand the nature and types of groups and know how they are formed,
examine the influence of group on individual behaviour,
describe the process of cooperation and competition,
reflect on the importance of social identity, and
understand the nature of intergroup conflict and examine conflict resolution strategies.
Psychology
130
NATURE AND FORMATION OF GROUPS
What is a Group?
The preceding introduction illustrates the
importance of groups in our lives. One
question that comes to mind is: “How are
groups (e.g., your family, class, and the
group with which you play) different from
other collections of people?” For example,
people who have assembled to watch a
cricket match or your school function are
at one place, but are not interdependent
on each other. They do not have defined
roles, status and expectations from each
other. In the case of your family, class, and
the group with which you play, you
will realise that there is mutual
interdependence, each member has roles,
there are status differentials, and there are
expectations from each other. Thus, your
Think about your day-to-day life and the various social interactions you
have. In the morning, before going to school, you interact with your family
members; in school, you discuss topics and issues with your teachers and
classmates; and after school you phone up, visit or play with your friends.
In each of these instances, you are part of a group which not only provides
you the needed support and comfort but also facilitates your growth and
development as an individual. Have you ever been away to a place where
you were without your family, school, and friends?  How did you feel?  Did
you feel there was something vital missing in your life?
    Our lives are influenced by the nature of group membership we have.  It
is, therefore, important to be part of groups which would influence us
positively and help us in becoming good citizens. In this chapter, we shall
try to understand what groups are and how they influence our behaviour.
At this point, it is also important to acknowledge that not only do others
influence us, but we, as individuals, are also capable of changing others
and the society. The benefits of cooperation and competition and how they
influence our personal and social lives will also be examined. We will also
see how identity develops — how we come to know ourselves. Similarly,
we would try to understand why sometimes group conflicts arise; examine
the perils of group conflict and apprise ourselves of various conflict resolution
strategies so that we are able to contribute towards making a harmonious
and cohesive society.
Introduction
family, class and playgroup are examples
of groups and are different from other
collections of people.
A group may be defined as an organised
system of two or more individuals, who are
interacting and interdependent, who have
common motives, have a set of role
relationships among its members, and have
norms that regulate the behaviour of its
members.
  Groups have the following salient
characteristics :
? A social unit consisting of two or more
individuals who perceive themselves
as belonging to the group. This
characteristic of the group helps in
distinguishing one group from the
other and gives the group its unique
identity.
? A collection of individuals who have
common motives and goals. Groups
Chapter 7 ? Social Influence and Group Processes
131
function either working towards a given
goal, or away from certain threats
facing the group.
? A collection of individuals who are
interdependent, i.e. what one is doing
may have consequences for others.
Suppose one of the fielders in a cricket
team drops an important catch during
a match — this will have consequence
for the entire team.
? Individuals who are trying to satisfy a
need through their joint association
also influence each other.
? A gathering of individuals who interact
with one another either directly or
indirectly.
? A collection of individuals whose
interactions are structured by a set of
roles and norms. This means that the
group members perform the same
functions every time the group meets
and the group members adhere to
group norms. Norms tell us how we
ought to behave in the group and
specify the behaviours expected from
group members.
Groups can be differentiated from other
collections of people. For example, a crowd
is also a collection of people who may be
present at a place/situation by chance.
Suppose you are going on the road and an
accident takes place. Soon a large number
of people tend to collect. This is an example
of a crowd. There is neither any structure
nor feeling of belongingness in a crowd.
Behaviour of people in crowds is irrational
and there is no interdependence among
members.
Teams are special kinds of groups.
Members of teams often have comple-
mentary skills and are committed to a
common goal or purpose. Members are
mutually accountable for their activities. In
teams, there is a positive synergy attained
through the coordinated efforts of the
members. The main differences between
groups and teams are:
? In groups, performance is dependent
on contributions of individual
members.  In teams, both individual
contributions and teamwork matter.
? In groups, the leader or whoever is
heading the group holds responsibility
for the work. However in teams,
although there is a leader, members
hold themselves responsible.
Fig.7.1 : Look at these Two Pictures
Picture A shows a football team — a group in which members interact with one another, have roles and
goals. Picture B depicts an audience watching the football match — a mere collection of people who by
some coincidence (may be their interest in football) happened to be in the same place at the same time.
Picture A Picture B
Psychology
132
An audience is also a collection of
people who have assembled for a special
purpose, may be to watch a cricket match
or a movie. Audiences are generally passive
but sometimes they go into a frenzy and
become mobs. In mobs, there is a definite
sense of purpose. There is polarisation in
attention, and actions of persons are in a
common direction. Mob behaviour is
characterised by homogeneity of thought
and behaviour as well as impulsivity.
Why Do People Join Groups?
All of you are members of your family,
class and groups with which you interact
or play. Similarly, other people are also
members of a number of groups at any
given time. Different groups satisfy
different needs, and therefore, we are
simultaneously members of different
groups. This sometimes creates pressures
for us because there may be competing
demands and expectations. Most often we
are able to handle these competing
demands and expectations. People join
groups because these groups satisfy a
range of needs. In general, people join
groups for the following reasons :
? Security : When we are alone, we feel
insecure. Groups reduce this
insecurity. Being with people gives a
sense of comfort, and protection. As a
result, people feel stronger, and are less
vulnerable to threats.
? Status : When we are members of a
group that is perceived to be important
by others, we feel recognised and
experience a sense of power. Suppose
your school wins in an inter-
institutional debate competition, you
feel proud and think that you are better
than others.
? Self-esteem : Groups provide feelings of
self-worth and establish a positive social
identity. Being a member of prestigious
groups enhances one’s self-concept.
? Satisfaction of one’s psychological
and social needs : Groups satisfy one’s
social and psychological needs such as
sense of belongingness, giving and
receiving attention, love, and power
through a group.
? Goal achievement : Groups help in
achieving such goals which cannot be
attained individually. There is power in
the majority.
? Provide knowledge and information :
Group membership provides knowledge
and information and thus broadens our
view. As individuals, we may not have
all the required information. Groups
supplement this information and
knowledge.
Group Formation
In this section, we will see how groups are
formed. Basic to group formation is some
contact and some form of interaction
between people. This interaction is
facilitated by the following conditions:
? Proximity : Just think about your
group of friends. Would you have been
friends if you were not living in the
same colony, or going to the same
school, or may be playing in the same
playground? Probably your answer
would be ‘No’. Repeated interactions
with the same set of individuals give us
a chance to know them, and their
interests and attitudes. Common
interests, attitudes, and background
are important determinants of your
liking for your group members.
?  Similarity : Being exposed to someone
over a period of time makes us assess
our similarities and paves the way for
formation of groups. Why do we like
people who are similar? Psychologists
have given several explanations for this.
One explanation is that people prefer
consistency and like relationships that
are consistent. When two people are
Chapter 7 ? Social Influence and Group Processes
133
similar, there is consistency and they
start liking each other. For example,
you like playing football and another
person in your class also loves playing
football; there is a matching of your
interests. There are higher chances that
you may become friends. Another
explanation given by psychologists is
that when we meet similar people, they
reinforce and validate our opinions and
values, we feel we are right and thus we
start liking them. Suppose you are of
the opinion that too much watching of
television is not good, because it shows
too much violence. You meet someone
who also has similar views. This
validates your opinion, and you start
liking the person who was instrumental
in validating your opinion.
? Common motives and goals : When
people have common motives or goals,
they get together and form a group
which may facilitate their goal
attainment. Suppose you want to teach
children in a slum area who are unable
to go to school. You cannot do this
alone because you have your own
studies and homework. You, therefore,
form a group of like-minded friends and
start teaching these children. So you
have been able to achieve what you
could not have done alone.
Stages of Group Formation
Remember that, like everything else in life,
groups develop. You do not become a
group member the moment you come
together. Groups usually go through
different stages of formation, conflict,
stabilisation, performance, and dismissal.
Tuckman suggested that groups pass
through five developmental sequences.
These are: forming, storming, norming,
performing and adjourning.
? When group members first meet, there
is a great deal of uncertainty about the
group, the goal, and how it is to be
achieved. People try to know each other
and assess whether they will fit in.
There is excitement as well as
apprehensions. This stage is called the
forming stage.
? Often, after this stage, there is a stage
of intragroup conflict which is referred
to as storming. In this stage, there is
conflict among members about how the
target of the group is to be achieved,
who is to control the group and its
resources, and who is to perform what
task. When this stage is complete, some
sort of hierarchy of leadership in the
group develops and a clear vision as to
how to achieve the group goal.
? The storming stage is followed by
another stage known as norming.
Group members by this time develop
norms related to group behaviour. This
leads to development of a positive group
identity.
? The fourth stage is performing. By this
time, the structure of the group has
evolved and is accepted by group
members. The group moves towards
achieving the group goal. For some
groups, this may be the last stage of
group development.
? However, for some groups, for example,
in the case of an organising committee
Activity
7.1
Identifying Stages of Group
Formation
Select 10 members from your class
randomly and form a committee to
plan an open house. See how they go
ahead. Give them full autonomy to do
all the planning. Other members of the
class observe them as they function.
Do you see any of these stages
emerging? Which were those? What
was the order of stages? Which stages
were skipped?
Discuss in the class.
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