Group Influences on behavior: Psychology

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2AB Psychology Investigation
Examining group influences on behaviour
Throughout this investigation we were able to study the influences on behaviour when working within a group, and if leadership roles are applied when working in these conditions. We aim to prove that working in groups do in fact influence on the behaviour of individuals. We determine that when working in a group and performing a task, three leadership roles may take place, aggressive, assertive and non-assertive, these roles may inflict behavioural changes or alter the opinions of individuals working within these groups. Students are randomly selected to join groups and work to complete a simple task, they then anonymously complete a questionnaire where we collect our data to provide evidence for this investigation.
Group influences on behaviour may vary with individuals, particularly with decision-making skills. These changes may occur depending on the effects of two major phenomena’s, group polarization and group conformity. In simple terms, group polarisation occurs when the decisions and opinions of individuals change or become more extreme when they are in group settings. For example, when working in a group, individuals tend to build up a stronger opinion while working with others who feel strongly about the topic, which often results in a change in attitude to those individuals who felt differently about the topic. Group conformity occurs when the behaviour of an individual is changed as a result of group influence, conformity surrounds compliance and obedience. For example, when working in a group, if a majority of the group agree upon a topic, and an individual feels different about the topic, they tend to agree with the others opinion, changing their behaviour even though they still feel differently about the topic.
The three main leadership styles are aggressive, assertive and non-assertive. An aggressive leadership style is quite self-explanatory, it occurs when an individual



References: Websites: http://www1.psych.purdue.edu/~willia55/120/LectureSocialF10.pdf http://psychology.about.com/od/socialinfluence/f/conformity.htm

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