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Social facilitation, Latan, Ringelmann effect, social loafing, group decisions

Q: Using the studies of social facilitation make recommendations regarding how best to structure both simple and complicated tasks.

Q: Describe the methods used and results obtained by Latan and his colleagues in their study of groups, pseudogroups, and social loafing.

Q: You are the manager of a large group of people performing an additive task. What steps would you take to minimize the Ringelmann effect in general and social loafing in particular?

Q: Identify and describe the advantages to making decisions in groups. Which types of tasks are better suited for group decisions and which are not? Why?

Q: Using Coch and French's 1948 study, make some general suggestions for implementing changes in work procedures to improve a group's work ethic and performance.

Q: What should a group's leader do to minimize the possibility of groupthink developing in a highly cohesive group? Why?

Q: A group is making a decision based on a variety of different pieces of information, which are widely held by different members. What steps should be taken to avoid the shared information bias?

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Subject: Business Topic: Business Analysis Level: Year 4
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Q: Using the studies of social facilitation make recommendations regarding how best to structure both simple and complicated tasks.

A: Social facilitation is defined with the presence of evaluative bystanders, whether real or imagined, results in a greater effort on the group task. It is the ability to influence people into better performance on simple tasks or ones that they know how to do automatically, when they are being watched by others (audience effect) or when they are working side-by-side people (coactions effect). Complex tasks or those that people are not generally skilled at; do not respond the same way as they are concerned with the opinions of others.
The recommendations for the simple tasks would be:
1) Have people in groups to do the work.
2) Have it perceived that someone is watching.
3) Time how long it takes to do the job - average time and let the people know the rating gauge for the job.
The recommendations for the complex tasks would be:
1) Isolate workers to do the job
2) Have coaching teams to assist with these workers.

Q: Describe the methods used and results obtained by Latane and his colleagues in their study of groups, pseudogroups, and social loafing.

A: Latane and his colleagues (Williams & Harkins 1979) used several methods in the study of groups:
1) Groups: Latane, et al placed pressure on the group to see if a threat would affect the performance of the group. They actually place people in the room with workers who were doing simple tasks and found they worked well and accomplished the task quickly. When they did this with workers on a complex task, it did not work the same way because the workers were bothered by what the observers would say about their work if they could not perform the job or did less than expected.
2) Pseudogroups: Latane, et al. let workers know that there were other workers working on the tasks at hand and that everyone was working together. This gave a false sense of security and the workers did better. There was less pressure. "The larger the number of imagined others who share the burden, the less the pressure on any one target person (Latane, Williams, & Harkins, 1979); perhaps because of perceived diffusion of responsibility or freedom from making a fool of oneself (Darley & Latane, 1968), which can occur even when the other people are only imagined (Garcia, Weaver, Moskowitz, & Darley, 2002)."
3) Social Loafing: They had a group pull a rope and an individual pull the rope and they found that there was more energy exerted as the group than the individual. This means the individual in the group setting shows a form of "social loafing" whereas alone, the individual uses more energy.
I included direct excerpts from the reference listed below them - in case you need to add those to your answer:
"Two experiments found that when asked to perform physically exerting tasks of clapping and shouting, people exhibit a sizable decrease in individual effort when performing in groups as compared to when they perform alone".
Experiment 1: Clap Your Hands and Shout Out Loud
the researchers chose clapping and shouting as a test exercise because people do these things in group ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines the terms Social facilitation, Latan, Ringelmann effect, social loafing and group decisions

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