Sample English Paper on The Concept of Group Formation

Social influences can be of different type namely conformity, obedience and compliance. The availability of a social context of reference makes it all the more possible for social influences to occur. Such influences are automatic and mindless. Like human beings, animals also mimic others’ social behaviors. Mimicry in a social context therefore is beneficial to affiliation (Kassin, Fein & Markus, 2017). Chapter 8 explores the concept of group formation and how it relates to social behaviors. It begins from the question, why does one form a group. Accordingly, there are certain aspects that cannot be attained individually. Rather, group dynamics are needed for effective performance. Groups are characterized by norms, distinctive roles and cohesiveness. Social cultures influence group dynamics significantly (Kassin et al., 2017).

Social Influence and Group Dynamics

Social influence is attributed to a person, group or an institution in that people learn from different contexts. In so doing, the different forms of influence that can be adopted include conformity to existing norms, compliance with group characteristics and obedience to norms. Conformity for instance, is aimed at preventing discrimination in that no one wants to be considered a misfit or part of the out-group (Hawley, Hosch & Bovaird, 2014; Rees & Wallace, 2014). The influence, whether compliant, conforming or obedient, can be constructive, destructive or neutral. While constructive influence results in personal development, destructive influence results in negative outcomes as is evidenced in the cases of mass psychogenic illness reported at different times. In most cases, individuals do not even realize that they are adapting to specific social behaviors.

One of the most common influence outcomes is mimicry. Humans are vulnerable to various, almost reflex-like influences, of which they are not even aware (Kassin et al., 2017). However, it is reported that this mostly arises as a result of social imitation. This concept is even available in animals that show rudimentary forms of imitation. In most cases, the desire to affiliate with others is what drives mimicry. At the same time mimicry can backfire if used among those who have negative inclinations in their tone or actions (Rees & Wallace, 2014). It is thus difficult to find people who do not conform for either informational or normative regions.

Because of the importance of social influence, the most common unit of influence is the group. Groups are created with the objective of bringing together people with similar objectives together. Groups are defined by three different aspects namely the norms, roles of group members and the cohesiveness in the group. Once an individual has joined a group, the individual is socialized to the group dynamics through either a formal and explicit process or through an informal process (Kassin et al., 2017). The group workings are defined by the norms of the group, which are the rules of conduct for the members and can be either formal or informal. While the norms and the roles of the group are defined due to group member similarities, the cohesiveness of a group is a function of cultural differences. According to Klug & Bagrow (2017) unique skills, job-focused efforts and perspectives all contribute to group cohesiveness.

Conclusion

Social constructs determine the influences of different social settings on people within them. In particular, social influence takes the form of conformity, compliance and obedience, and the outcomes associated with each of these forms are dependent on the nature of the social group. In each group, individual members conduct is determined by various aspects such as the group norms, the roles of the members and the degree of cohesiveness in groups. Each of these aspects is affected either directly or indirectly by cultural connections between group members.

 

 

References

Hawley, L.R., Hosch, H.M., and Bovaird, J.A. (2014). Exploring social identity theory and the ‘Black sheep effect’ among college students – athletes and non-athletes. Journal of Sport Behavior, 37(1), 56-76.

Kassin, S., Fein, S., and Markus, H. R. (2017). Social psychology 10th Ed. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Klug, M., and Bagrow, J.P. (2016). Understanding the group dynamics and success of teams. Royal Society Open Science, 3(4). Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4852640/

Rees, C., and Wallace, D. (2014). The myth of conformity: Adolescents and absention from unhealthy drinking behaviors. Social Science and Medicine, 108, 34-45.