The Psychology of Groups

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Michael Rodriguez
Sociology 110
3/2/12
In life, people have groups that they use to compare themselves to. These groups, or reference groups, serve as benchmarks that we can compare our lives to. College students in particular have a large array of these groups because their lives are at a point where they are being shaped the most. College students are on the cusp of careers, families, and they are shaping who they want to be in the future.

Parents make an excellent reference group for college students because they generally have well established careers and families. Kids grow up modeling their behavior after their parents, so it is natural that they would use their parents as a reference group throughout their lives. Parents are important reference groups because the person referencing them has close emotional ties with them, and are a benchmark for success at home, and in careers.

Coworkers are another important reference group as well. Coworkers are often times people well established in careers, and can serve as a good benchmark for success at work. We can use coworkers to compare how we are doing in our field of work in regard to doing the work, getting promotions, and balancing work and home life.

I think the most important reference group that college students have are other college students. College is a competitive place, since the people with the highest grades get the best rank in each class. Referencing your peers is a good way to judge your progress in college, and can make you more competitive in college and later in life.

In conclusion, the most important reference groups that a college student can have are parents, coworkers, and other college students. These groups serve as benchmarks for making progress in our lives, can make us more competitive, and show us how we can make ourselves better.
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