How Groups Can Influence People in Positive and Negative Ways

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How groups can influence people in positive and negative ways

People have many different roles in life, these roles serve many different purposes. It is in these roles we find we belong to different groups this makes up our social identity. It is these groups that can have negative or positive effect on ourselves. People can be part of the 'in-group' or the 'out-group'. The 'in-group' being people who belong to the group which we consider we also belong to. The 'out-group' being people who do not belong to our group. This assignment will consider the positive and negative influences groups can have on people. It will explain the influence that can be attributed to groups and how peoples behaviour can be affected. Groups can influence behaviour in many ways. Groups and the roles that people play in them can give an understanding of who we are and how people can influence our personal and social identity. Groups can be family, friends, football clubs even cults.

Ideas about 'in-groups' and 'out-groups' form the basis of a psychological theory called social theory. (P.124) Social identity theory was developed by Henri Tajfel and John Turner (1979, cited in Spoors et al., 2011) Tajfel et al proposed that there are three mental processes involved in evaluating others.

The first is social categorization. Categorizing people including ourselves. If you can assign people to a category then that tells us things about those people, for example someone who is a Christian you may automatically think they go to church and read the bible. In the second stage, social identification, adopting the identity of the group you have categorized yourselves as belonging to. For example you have categorized yourself as a student, the chances are you will adopt the identity of a student and begin to act in the ways you believe students act. The final stage is social comparison. Once you have categorized yourself as part of a group and have identified with that group you...
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