Social Loafing Essay examples

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What is Social Loafing? Social Loafing is something everyone has experienced. Most likely if you do not like group work this is one of the main reasons why. “Social loading describes the tendency of individuals to put forth less effort when they are part of a group. Because all members of the group are pooling their effort to achieve a common goal each member of the group contributes less than they would if they were individually responsible” (Cherry). This challenges the common belief that group work will be more productive. In 1913 a researcher named Ringelmann designed an experiment involving rope pulling to test the effect of social loafing. His experiment found that when an individual was put in a group his or her effort was less.…show more content…
Having tasks that are too difficult or are unfamiliar are likely to incite social loafing because they group member lacks the ability or courage to provide input. Robbins and Judge (2011) theorize that another cause of social loafing is an uneven equity. When two people are putting in different levels of input and receiving the same level of output the larger contributor will adjust their input to reduce cognitive dissonance. Another reason they believe is “dispersion of responsibility” group members cannot be held responsible because tasks and roles are not clearly assigned. (Robbins & Judge, 2011). In research by Worchel and others (1998) it was found that groups with friends or familiar members are far less likely to loaf when compared with groups made up of strangers (Worchel, Rothgerber, Day, Hart, & Butemeyer, 1998) Most people have been in a group made up of friends and colleges they are familiar with and seen that in these types of groups social loafing is drastically reduced. Gender and Cultural Difference Karau and Williams explain there are several outlying factors that affect social loafing such as, gender, culture, and individual/collective rating. Women are less likely than men to social loaf because of the higher importance placed on being part of or fitting in a group while men usually place more value on individual performance. In a study of Japanese people “about 20% of men and 60% of women” did not social loaf (Kugihara, 1999)

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