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, 26 нояб. 2020, 20:53

Group theory

In general, people are always influenced by public approval and search it from people of higher standing. This inclination starts when they try to find appreciation from their parents, teachers, later on peers, and, finally, colleagues and boss. Furthermore, there is a constant need for attention and approval from the public.

Numerous historical events astounded generations and generations by cruelty of people and their thoughtless subordination towards authorities. Especially, it was obvious after World War II, when seemingly ordinary people turned out to be very cruel and killed numerous Jews. This encouraged many psychologists to conduct further research into the influence of authority on an average person. The first experiment to be regarded was the experiment of Stanley Milgram, focusing on obedience to authority. The experiment was carried out in 1961, and the main aim of the experiment was to check whether people would agree to hurt another human being because it was said so by an authoritative person. Moreover, it was proven that, if the authority of the person was downgraded, the level of obedience lowered. Whereas the experimenter was Milgram himself, who has an authoritative appearance, the people tended to obey him more rather than his assistant or him talking over the phone.

The other experiment that studied the influence of authorities from a different point of view was Phillip Zimbardo’s Stanford prison experiment. The idea was to see the behavioural patterns of people in power and other people. A group of random people was divided into prisoners and their guards. The experiment turned out to be quite revealing and shocking as the guards developed a number of cruel punishments for disobeying prisoners. Furthermore, this experiment was stopped preliminary due to the extremities of punishments and a few nervous breakdowns.

The third prominent experiment studying the influence of public on the behaviour of an individual was a Conformity experiment carried out by Solomon Asch. The main focus of the experiment was to look at the influence of a group onto a person. The main idea was to see if people give incorrect answers to the question having seen that other participants give the wrong answer. It appeared that, even though the participants were aware of the correct answer, about 40 percent of students gave the wrong answer. What is more, students tended to give the correct answer being interviewed alone. This experiment proves that people tend to follow groups and they even tend to make a wrong decision provided that a bigger group of people make the same decision.

Despite the importance of public opinion and longing for the approval from people higher in position or in social status and the fact that people tend to follow the group tendencies, they still discriminate themselves as an individual and often categorize people into their group members and the outsiders. Furthermore, there is an immediate favouritism towards the group members. Moreover, the scientists Tajfel and Turner grew interested in the issue. And after some experiments in 1979, they defined three main issues that usually contribute to the emergence of favouritism inside the group. They are the following: the level of association with the group, the comparison between groups, and the status of an individual within the group. Furthermore, in the course of the following experiments carried out at school, it was proven that even when divided into groups randomly, schoolboys tended to assign some particular features to their group mates and, thus, distinguished themselves from other groups and developed inside favouritism.

Even though people tend to feel more secure while working in the group as far as they are not solely responsible for the outcomes of the decision taken, they are still prone to making incorrect decisions. This phenomenon was defined by the scientist Irvin Janis in 1972 and was named ‘Groupthink’. The main idea of this theory was that people tended to focus more on the coherent work of the group and paid less attention to different options that were available for them. History has shown a number of cases proving that, and most of them involved the decision making on the state level. The main signs of groupthink are a belief into the invulnerability of the group, a strong belief into the fact that the group is always right, and an impression of unanimity of the group.

To sum up, a group has a great influence on decision-making and this is especially enforced and fuelled by the desire to conform and get the approval from other group members or people of higher position or social status. What is more, authorities and people representing the power have an enormous influence.

About author

Monica is the author at https://essaysleader.com/buy-marketing-plan-writing-from-experts/. She always dreamed of working in this position, working with texts and new information. After all, her credo in life is to develop daily in different fields and be an interesting person. She is fluent in three languages and holds a Masters Degree in Philology and Translator, and is also trying to master new fields in order to be knowledgeable in everything.