Social Facilitation

1. Mere Presence

2. Evaluation Apprehension

Testing the explanations (Cottrell):


Ss performed a task alone

with others

blindfolded (mere presence)

Results: others > alone, blindfolded

So, people concerned with evaluation vs. mere presence

Social Loafing

Explanations 1.Deindividuation

i. Group size

ii. Anonymity

iii. Distraction

Group Polarization

-Risky shift or polarization?

Original tests: (Stoner, 1961)

Procedure: Participants read 12 choice dilemmas, choosing between a risky option & cautious option

Choose individually, then debate with group

"Should a student apply for grad school at a less prestigious school, where he/she will be accepted"

"Should a student apply for grad school at a prestigious school where he/she has less of a chance of being accepted"

Results: Risky shift

Later tests: the Prejudiced are more so, the tolerant are more so!


1. Illusion of Invulnerability

2. Collective Rationalization

3. Unquestioned Belief in Morality

4. Disparage Opponents

5. Conformity pressure

6. Self-censorship

7. Illusion of unanimity

8. Mindguards

Why do groups have such a nasty effect? Social Comparison theory

1. Drive to evaluate self

2. Physical/Unambiguous vs.

Social/ambiguous reality


3. Compare with similar others


Types of social comparisons:

Upward vs. Downward

Motivation for comparing with others

1. Abilities

2. Self-esteem

3. Group membership

4.Schemas- schemas affect which social comparisons we make

e.g., Miller, 1984


so, women compare self to women; men to men

so, women dont necessarily compare to women & vice versa

to compare themselves

Environmental Social Psychology

Interpersonal density

Personal Space

Person-Environment Fit

1.permit moderate level of socialization too much = no control; too little=isolation
2. Maintain privacy allows people to control interactions
3. Not too much indefensible territory security
4. Encourage feelings of ownership, control liking of surroundings, decreases vandalism
5. Low-moderate outside density high density=increased crowds, less control, environmental stressors