Social Psychology


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  Many hands make Diminished Responsibility

     Ψ  Social Loafing: The tendency for people to exert less effort when they pool their effort toward a common goal than when they are individually responsible.

     Ψ  Free riders are people who consume more than their fair share of a resource, or shoulder less than a fair share of the costs of its production.

     Ψ  Social Loafing: occurs on "additive tasks" where the group's achievement depends on the sum of the individual efforts.

     Ψ  Social Loafing: does not occur when people work towards individual goals & their efforts can be individually evaluated, social facilitation does.

     Ψ  Social loafing is the phenomenon that persons make less effort to achieve a goal when they work in a group than when they work alone. This is one of the main reasons that groups sometimes perform less than the combined performance of their members working as individuals.

     Ψ  Social loafing increases (to a point) as group size increases. Jackson & Wiliams (1988) performed a meta-analysis on 49 social loafing studies & correlated the amount of social loafing with the group size. The meta-analysis showed that social loafing increased as group sized increased to 10( 78% of individual effort), with little difference being shown once group size was greater than ten.

     Ψ  Social loafing is reduced to the extent a task is challenging, appealing, & involving. Also, the commitment one feels toward a group can affect social loafing.

     Ψ  A possible reason for social loafing is a decrease in evaluation apprehension.

     Ψ  To avoid social loafing, make sure everyone in a group knows that they can easily be evaluated by others. If you are a social loafer, then by all means find work where nobody can point at you & say you are not pulling your weight.

     Ψ  When working in a team, ensure there are no social loafers, either by discussing the principle (prodding consciences) or ensuring nobody can hide in the woodwork.

Social Psychology
  Robert C. Gates