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Social Loafing and Personality

I was just thinking about the articles on social loafing and how they may relate to personality. The articles mentioned that individuals with more incentive and motivation are less likely to loaf and more likely to put in maximal effort relative to those with no or less motivation. Perhaps individuals who are more motivated rely on positive feedback (in this case grades) to maintain their self esteem or possess higher conscientiousness in terms of the big 5 traits. I was thinking of some related experience where people have told me that when they work on group projects they end up doing all of the work. In fact, these individuals seem to take the responsibility of the project upon themselves and enjoy the power of being in charge of the final product. It may be that certain individuals are incapable of social loafing due to their inability to let go of responsibility and their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to raise their self esteem and to get high grades.

What are your thoughts on this? Any additional thoughts on how social loafing may relate to personality?

At least a page answer would be great. I am looking for more of personal notes instead of outside sources, but both will be welcome. Thank you

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Hi,

Interesting discussion. I used some research to support my views, because in academic work it is important for ideas to be empirically supported. I also attached an interesting article.

RESPONSE:

1. What are your thoughts on this? Any additional thoughts on how social loafing may relate to personality? At least a page answer would be great. I am looking for more of personal notes instead of outside sources, but both will be welcomed. Thank you.

Is there research to back up your hypothesis that personal need for power and taking charge (controlling?) is negatively correlated with social loafing. It sounds like a reasonable assumption, but it is always good to back up assumptions with empirical support, especially in academic work. Correlation studies are often helpful for discussion like this one, to get ideas that are empirically supported of the possible relationship between social loafing and personality characteristics or traits. It also depends somewhat on what personality theory you adhere to (big 5 traits?) as each focus on different factors of personality.

Social loafing is defined as individuals working together on a task tend to exert less effort than when performing the same task alone (Latane, Williams, & Harkins, 1979, as cited in the article attached).

So far, we have:

· Individuals with more incentive and motivation are less likely to loaf and more likely to put in maximal effort relative to those with no or less motivation.
· Perhaps individuals who are more motivated rely on positive feedback (in this case grades) to maintain their self esteem or possess higher conscientiousness in terms of the big 5 traits.

And, you speculated:

· Some individuals seem to take the responsibility of the project upon themselves (e.g. leaders often arise) and enjoy the power of being in charge of the final product. It may be that certain ...

Solution Summary

Through research and discussion, this solution investigates the relationship between social loafing and personality. Supplemented with an article on social loading, which expands on this relationship.

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