Examining Group Influences on Behaviour

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Abstract – This investigation required participants to take part in an activity designed to gather data that would later be used to complete the task. The students were required to participate and contribute to an activity in small groups where they were expected to interact with one another and make group decisions to complete the activity under the authority of a group leader. As well as this, students had to provide a critical analysis of the investigation through the completion of a Post Experiment Questionnaire. A major aspect of this investigation was then that the data collected from the questionnaire was collated and then used to form a set of results for the students to use, in order to produce an investigative write-up discussing the investigation at length. Introduction – The aim of this investigation was to examine the influence of others on individual behaviour and determine what happens in group decision making. In the investigation, three different leadership styles were displayed; autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire. An authoritative or autocratic leader is a person who acts as a dictator and tells the other members in the group what to do and how to perform it without taking into account other’s ideas or advice. According to the ‘Leadership Management Development Centre (LMDC)’ in Florida, autocratic leadership is effective in emergency situations and allows for quick decisions to be made. An assertive or democratic leader is one in which the decision-making abilities are shared with the group and other members are comfortable that they are able to contribute and be listened to. The ‘LMDC’ describes that democratic leadership is effective when the leader needs the group to buy into a decision, plan or goal or perhaps bring fresh ideas to the table, however can be at a disadvantage as this style involves little or no responsibility in

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