Tavris' in Groups We Shrink Essay

699 WordsOct 21, 19993 Pages
Tavris' In Groups We Shrink The main position in, In Groups We Shrink, is so true when applied to situations of aggregation of a large number of people. As stated in, In Groups We Shrink, in large groups we are reluctant to deviate from the norm, however, if alone we often act without even hesitating. We can apply this to everyday situations as with, The Lottery. Why are people so hesitant to act out when in large groups? There may be a broad spectrum of reasons from the mentality of "diffusion of responsibility" to the fear of ridicule. It seems as if within a group we act as single entity instead of a group of individuals. "In groups we shrink" may sound paradoxical but it is evident to be true. In a group we tend to…show more content…
For example, I've been in many classes where the students were afraid to speak out. But eventually there is a brave soul who ventures to raise their hand to answer a question. And this starts the ball rolling. Eventually each individual starts to get involved with the class. People often have the mentality that someone else will take the responsibility. Often times this seems to be the case. In, In Groups We Shrink, Tavris gives us the example of the students seated in a room and then smoke was released into the room. "Students who were on their own usually hesitated a minute, got up, checked the vents and then went out to report what certainly seemed like a fire. But the students who were sitting in groups of three did not move. They sat there for six minutes, with smoke so thick they could barely see, rubbing their eyes and coughing." "Diffusion of responsibility" can also be witnessed in The Lottery. Nobody wanted to go against the grain. Until the lottery directly affected them, they did not feel like they had to put an end to it. Although the lottery may have been morally wrong, they all went along with it because nobody felt the obligation to break the chain. Although we aren't often faced with situations that require us to make the decision of acting against the group, most of us may claim that if faced with that situation we would be able to be individuals and do the morally correct. With
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