Business Essay

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The Role of Groups Do you think you act differently when alone than when other people are around? The answer to this question is typically a resounding 'yes.' We are concerned with our social image or how other people see us; some more than others, but very few people see no difference in their behavior. This section will discuss various theories relating to our behavior in group settings or when others are present. Social Facilitation Lets start with one of the most simple theory related to social psychology. When alone, we tend to be more relaxed, less concerned with the outward expression of our behavior, and are basically 'ourselves.' Add just one other person, even if we don't know that person, our behavior tends to change, and not always for the better. Research has found that when others are present, our level of arousal is increased (Zajonc, 1965). In other words, we are suddenly more aware of what's going on around us. Because of this, we tend to perform better at tasks that are well learned or simple (Guerin, 1993). When completing a difficult or new task, however, our performance level decreases and we tend to do more poorly. This phenomenon is called Social Facilitation (Guerin, 1993) , and as we try harder due to the presence of others, our performance actually decreases for difficult or unlearned tasks. Think about learning to play basketball for the first time. If you are alone, you will likely be more relaxed, and better able to concentrate. When others are watching you, however, you are more likely to be self-conscious, and therefore make more mistakes. Professional basketball players, however, because the task is so well learned, perform better when others are watching and they are able demonstrate their confidence and ability. Group Think and Group Polarization If you've ever been involved in a group

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