Describe How Groups Can Influence People in Positive and Negative Ways

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Describe how groups can influence people in positive and negative ways The way that groups can influence people in positive and negative ways varies due to different factors. The factors include individual involved, situation and group that the person is involved with. Group pressure plays a big role in influence and can often cause someone to do something that they wouldn’t normally do. I will discuss the positive and negative influences and different roles within this essay.

Roles and groups can give people a sense of identity and belonging. A person could belong to several different groups and play several different roles within their lifetime. They could be part of a netball team , football team or a team at work. Being part of a group can often dictate how individuals act, for example, the role of a father at home My be to teach and ensure that his children understand violence is wrong and they shouldn’t fight with others. The same man could then be part of a crowd at a football ground and play a completely different role to what they would play as role of a father. The person in the football crowd could be positively influenced and be happy and cheer along with the other members of the crowd, yet they could be negatively influenced and go along with trouble that may be caused at a football match and join in with the arguing and fighting that could occur between rival football fans.

Although being in a group can give a person a sense of belonging it can also make a person behave out of character.

An experiment was carried out by Phillip Zimbardo (1971 cited in Spoors et al, 2011) providing evidence that the power of a role given to someone can influence the way that a person behaves. Zimbardo had an all male participant group and split them into two groups of guards and prisoners. He put the groups into a simulated prison setting. This experiment was due to last two weeks, however, due to the participants taking their roles so seriously...
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