Describe the instances under which social facilitation and social inhibition could occur, and also review the theory that have actually been offered to describe these processes.Outline the results of member characteristics, process gains, and process losses on team performance.Summarize how social psychologists share the different types of tasks that groups are asked come perform.Explain the influence of social loafing on group performance.

You are watching: The reduced motivation and effort shown by individuals working in a group is called ____.


When important tasks have to be performed easily or effectively, we generally create teams to accomplish them. Numerous people think that teams are an ext effective than individuals in performing tasks (Nijstad, Stroebe, & Lodewijkx, 2006), and together a id seems commonsensical. After ~ all, due to the fact that groups have many members, lock will also have an ext resources and also thus much more ability to efficiently perform tasks and also make an excellent decisions. However, although teams sometimes execute perform far better than individuals, this result is no guaranteed. Let’s consider some of the numerous variables that deserve to influence team performance.

Social Facilitation and Social Inhibition

In one of the faster social psychological studies, Norman Triplett (1898) investigated exactly how bicycle racers were affected by the social instance in which they raced. Triplett discovered something really interesting: the racers who were competing with other cyclists on the very same track rode significantly faster 보다 those who to be racing alone, against the clock. This led Triplett come hypothesize that world perform tasks better when the society context consists of other world than once they perform the jobs alone. Succeeding findings validated Triplett’s results, and other experiments have shown that the visibility of others can increase power on many varieties of tasks, including jogging, playing pool, lifting weights, and also working ~ above mathematics and also computer difficulties (Geen, 1989; Guerin, 1983; Robinson-Staveley & Cooper, 1990; Strube, Miles, & Finch, 1981). The tendency to do tasks far better or quicker in the existence of others is known as social facilitation.

Although civilization sometimes perform much better when they space in groups than they execute alone, the case is no that simple. Possibly you have the right to remember a time once you discovered that a task you might perform fine alone (e.g., offering a presentation, play a video game, shooting a basketball complimentary throw, or making a football penalty kick) was no performed too when you tried it with, or in prior of, others. Therefore it appears that the conclusion that being v others rises performance cannot be entirely true and also that sometimes the existence of others deserve to worsen our performance. The tendency to perform tasks more poorly or slow in the existence of others is well-known as social inhibition. So, together the visibility of other people can both improve and also worsen separation, personal, instance performance, it is essential to discover the different problems that promote this opposite outcomes.

To study social facilitation and also social inhibition, Hazel Markus (1978) gave research attendees both simple task (putting on and tying your shoes) and also an unfamiliar and also thus more an overwhelming task (putting on and tying a lab coat the tied in the back). The research study participants were asked to execute both tasks in one of three social situations: (a) alone, (b) through a confederate present who was watching them, or (c) v a confederate current who satellite in the edge of the room repairing a piece of tools without watching. As you have the right to see in figure 10.4, “Group job Performance,” Markus found first that the difficult task was performed much more slowly overall. Yet she additionally found an communication effect, where the attendees performed the straightforward task faster yet the more challenging task slower when a confederate was current in the room. Furthermore, the did not matter whether the other human was paying fist to the power or whether the other human just taken place to it is in in the room functioning on one more task—the mere presence of an additional person adjacent influenced performance.

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Figure 10.4 team Task Performance

In this experiment, participants to be asked to execute a well-learned task (tying their shoes) and also a poorly learned task (putting top top a lab coat that tied in the back). Over there is both a main effect of task difficulty and a task-difficulty-by-performance-condition interaction. Data are from Markus (1978).

These results convincingly demonstrated the working approximately others might either help or hinder performance. But why would this be? One explanation of the influence of rather on job performance to be proposed by Robert Zajonc (1965). As presented in figure 10.5, “Explaining society Facilitation and Social Inhibition,” Zajonc made usage of the affective ingredient of arousal in his explanation. Zajonc argued that when we are with others, we experience much more arousal 보다 we do as soon as we room alone, and also that this arousal boosts the likelihood that us will execute the dominant responsethe action that we room most most likely to emit in any kind of given situation.

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Figure 10.5 Explaining social Facilitation and Social Inhibition

According come the social facilitation design of Robert Zajonc (1965), the mere presence of others produces arousal, which rises the probability that the dominant response will occur. If the dominant solution is correct, the task is carry out better, whereas if the dominant solution is incorrect, the task is performed an ext poorly.

The important aspect of Zajonc’s concept was that the experience of arousal and the resulting boost in the power of the dominant an answer could be offered to predict even if it is the visibility of others would develop social facilitation or society inhibition. Zajonc suggested that if the job to be performed was reasonably easy, or if the individual had actually learned to do the task very well (a task such together pedaling a bicycle or tie one’s shoes), the dominant an answer was likely to be the exactly response, and also the rise in arousal resulted in by the visibility of others would enhance performance. ~ above the other hand, if the job was complicated or no well learned (e.g., addressing a facility problem, giving a speech in prior of others, tie a lab apron behind one’s back), the dominant response was most likely to be the incorrect one; and because the increase in arousal would boost the incident of the (incorrect) dominant response, performance would certainly be hindered.

Zajonc’s theory described how the existence of others deserve to increase or to decrease performance, relying on the nature the the task, and a great deal of experimental research has actually now confirmed his predictions. In a meta-analysis, Bond and also Titus (1983) looked in ~ the results of end 200 researches using end 20,000 research study participants and also found the the visibility of rather did significantly increase the rate of performance on basic tasks and also decrease both the rate and also the quality of power on facility tasks.

One interesting element of Zajonc’s concept is that because it only requires the concepts of arousal and also dominant solution to explain task performance, it predicts that the impacts of rather on performance will not necessarily be confined to humans. Zajonc reviewed evidence that dogs ran faster, chickens ate much more feed, ants developed bigger nests, and also rats had an ext sex as soon as other dogs, chickens, ants, and also rats, respectively, were roughly (Zajonc, 1965). In fact, in among the many unusual of all social psychology experiments, Zajonc, Heingartner, and also Herman (1969) found that cockroaches ran much faster on right runways once other cockroaches to be observing castle (from behind a plastic window) however that castle ran slower, in the visibility of various other roaches, ~ above a maze that connected making a complicated turn, presumably due to the fact that running straight was the leading response, whereas turning was not.

Although the arousal version proposed through Zajonc is perhaps the many elegant, various other explanations have also been proposed to account because that social facilitation and social inhibition. One alteration argues that we are specifically influenced through others when we perceive that the rather are examining us or completing with united state (Szymanski & Harkins, 1987). This makes sense due to the fact that in this cases, another important motivator of human behavior—the desire to boost the self—is involved in enhancement to arousal. In one research supporting this idea, Strube and his partner (Strube, Miles, & Finch, 1981) found the the visibility of spectators raised the speed of joggers only when the spectators were dealing with the joggers and also thus could see them and also assess their performance.

The visibility of rather who intend us to execute well and who are for this reason likely come be particularly distracting has been found to have important results in part real-world situations. Because that example, Baumeister and also Steinhilber (1984) found that skilled athletes generally performed an ext poorly than would certainly be supposed in an essential games the were played in former of their very own fans.

Process losses and process Gains

So far in this section, we have been focusing on exactly how being in a team affects separation, personal, instance performance. What about the broader question of whether performance is amplified when human being work in groups, contrasted with what group members would have completed if they had been working on your own? working in groups plainly has part benefits. Since groups consists of many members, group performance is nearly always far better than the power of one individual acting alone. Countless heads are better than one in terms of knowledge, cumulative memory, physical strength, and also other abilities. The group from the nationwide Aeronautics and room Administration (NASA) that operated together come land a person on the moon, a music band whose members space writing a brand-new song together, or a surgical team in the center of a facility operation might coordinate their initiatives so well that is clear that the very same outcome might never have arisen if the individuals had functioned alone, or in an additional group of much less well-suited individuals. In these cases, the understanding and an abilities of the individuals seem to work together to it is in effective, and the result of the group appears to be enhanced. When groups work better than we would certainly expect, offered the people who kind them, we speak to the outcome a process gain.

There room at least some data saying that teams may in some situations experience process gains. Because that instance, Weber and also Hertel (2007) found in a recent meta-analysis that individuals deserve to in some cases exert greater motivation when working in a group compared with working individually, resulting in increased group performance. This is an especially true because that less capable group members who seem to end up being inspired to work harder once they are component of a group. Top top the other hand, over there are additionally costs to working in groups—sometimes gift in a group can stifle creativity and increase procrastination, for example. In this cases, the groups experience procedure losses. A process loss occurs when groups perform more poorly 보다 we would certainly expect, provided the attributes of the members the the group.

One method to think about the benefits of teams is to compare the potential productivity of the group—that is, what the group should be able come do, provided its membership—with the actual productivity of the group. For example, top top a rope-pulling task, the potential group productivity (the strength with i m sorry the team should pull once working together) would be calculated as the amount of all the separation, personal, instance inputs. The difference between the expected performance of the group and the actual performance of the group (i.e., the level to which the team is an ext or less than the amount of its parts) is figured out by the group process, defined as the occasions that take place while the team is working together on the task. As soon as the result of the group performance is far better than would be meant on the basis of the members’ qualities (the team pulls harder 보다 expected), over there is a procedure gain; when the outcome of the group performance is worse than would certainly be supposed on the basis of the members’ characteristics, there is a process loss. Mathematically, we can write the complying with equation to express this relationship:

actual performance = potential productivity − procedure loss + procedure gain.

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Group performance is one more example that a case in i m sorry person and also situation variables work-related together because it relies on both the skills of the human being in the group and the method these resources are combined as the group members work together. Let’s currently turn to exploring these an individual and situational factors in more detail.

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Figure 10.6 people work together in a variety of means for a variety of reasons. Groups are periodically effective, but they are often less so than we could hope. Source: imperial Navy Medics by UK ministry of Defence (https://www.flickr.com/photos/defenceimages/8179374454) used under CC by NC 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/); Pulling for your regiment at the Glengarry Highland Games by Jammie McCaffrey (https://www.flickr.com/photos/15609463