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Society consists of individuals, individuals make up groups. Today we will dwell in more detail on the concept of a group.

Christina’s evening run is coming to an end, she realizes that there is still 500 m left to run, but her body is completely tired. As a result, she changes from running to brisk walking and completes her distance.

The next day, Christina runs with her girlfriends and, unbeknownst to herself, runs miles more than usual. Where did she get her strength? What did Christina do for this? Let’s take a look at this.

What is a group?

Before answering this question, scientists asked themselves many different questions. For example, are the passengers on the bus a group of people? And what about a team of footballers playing on the same field?

Who can be called a group? People who are united by a common goal? Or those who are organized in a certain way? Or maybe a group is people who actively interact with each other? This is the approach that scientists have used to find a more accurate concept of the group.

Marvin Shaw argues that each group has a certain quality: the interaction of group members with each other. Therefore, he believes that a group is a collective that can be formed by two or more people actively interacting with each other and influencing each other.

So a team of footballers who play on the same pitch is an example of a real group. They have a common goal, they actively interact with each other, they can be related to the sports community, etc. It is these characteristics that make it possible to name individuals who have gathered in one place as a group.

Social facilitation

Social facilitation is a beneficial effect on the result of a person’s activity in the presence of outside observers.

Psychologist Norman Triplett once noticed at a regular bicycle race. Athletes show the best results not when they ride alone with a stopwatch, but when they participate in collective races.

As a result, Norman conducted many experiments, with the help of which it was proved that in the presence of other people, simple addition-subtraction examples were solved faster, the necessary letters were crossed out.

This effect has also been observed in animals. In the presence of other birds, chickens eat grains faster, ants break the sand more intensively. But scientists were in no hurry to draw conclusions.

Negative impact due to the presence of others

Later, a number of experiments were carried out, which showed opposite results. In some cases, co-performers interfered with their presence. Animals in the presence of other similar individuals more slowly passed the labyrinths.

A distracting effect, observers were noticed when studying meaningless words, passing mazes, solving complex examples.

Then the scientists came to the conclusion that social facilitation works only in those cases when a person has well mastered a certain action (for example, riding a bicycle).

The Robert Zayonts Principle

Social psychologist Robert Zayonts, having familiarized himself with the topic of social facilitation, conducted several experiments and came to the following conclusion. In the process of social facilitation, a dominant response is aroused in people. Thanks to this increased arousal, people more quickly solve light anagrams, more successfully solve simple problems.

When it comes to complex problems, where the correct answer is not always obvious, then over-excitement increases the likelihood of error. Therefore, for more difficult tasks, it is better to be in a calm state in order to successfully cope with them.

Image –
Kayleigh Garrett on Unsplash

Victor Samlin

Author Victor Samlin

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