Social Psychology Group Processes

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According to Cartwright & Zander (1968), a group may be defined as a “collection of individuals who have relations to one another that make them interdependent to some significant degree”. Other definitions state that a group is “two or more persons who are interacting with one another in such a manner that each person influences and is influenced by each other person (Shaw, 1981). Turner (1987) goes further to say that “a psychological group is one that is psychologically significant for the members, to which they relate themselves subjectively for social comparison and the acquisitions of norms and values…that they privately accept membership in and which influence their attitudes and behaviour”. Clark & Pataki reserve the term “group”…show more content…
Members who possess higher status behave differently than those who possess lower status. A group engages in certain processes that naturally occur when a set of individuals are working together. In the Orientation phase, the needs of group members are to be oriented to the task, that is, to define the task, specify issues, identify expectations, and explore the nature of the work. From this, members develop a common understanding of the group's purpose. In the Testing and Dependency phase, participants generally act as if they depend on the leader to provide all the structure. They look to the leader to set the ground rules, establish the agenda, to do all the "leading," while the group members acclimate themselves to the setting. Group members exhibit behavior to test what behavior is acceptable and what is not, and begin to establish boundaries, to consider themselves as individuals in relation to the group, and to define the function of the group and the leader. This phase generally concludes when there is general agreement that the goals are achievable and that change is possible--whether it be changing behavior, making a decision, or solving a problem. Organizing to get work done involves a number of group decisions. These include establishing work rules, determining limits, defining the reward system, setting the criteria for the task, dividing the work and assigning individual responsibility for particular tasks. As it relates to
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