Social Inhibition and Social Loafing

Social Facilitation, Social Inhibition, And Social Loafing
The objective of this study is to provide a description of the characters in the media program demonstrating social loafing, social inhibition, and social facilitation. One of the characters will be selected by using the current literature and two ways their behavior might be mitigated will be explained. This work will additionally describe a situation in which negative consequences were observed resulting from groupthink or group polarization and use an article from the current literature to explain how on alternative to groupthink or group polarization could have been used in that situation.
Social Loafing, Social Inhibition, and Social Facilitation
Social loafing is described as “the tendency to reduce individual effort when working in groups compared to the individual effort expended when working alone.” (Piezon and Donaldson, n.d., p.1) Social facilitation is described as the increase “of individuals’ performance in the presence of others” while social inhibition is described as the “decrease of individuals’ performance in the presence of others.” (Klehe, Anderson, and Hoefnagels, 2007, p. 223) Social inhibition is illustrated in the thought processes and responses provided by Amanda in the group discussion while social facilitation is illustrated in the responses of Gavin. Social loafing is illustrated in the behavior and responses of Brian, as he simply goes along with whatever the rest of the group thinks is best.
II. Behavior Mitigation
Mitigation of the behavior of social loafing, such as illustrated in the behavior and responses of Brian in the example, could be accomplished through use of the creation of task interdependence among group members. It is indicated that individuals are not likely to put forth a great deal of effort unless they “view their individual task as meaningful.” (Piezon and Donaldson, n.d., p.1) In addition, it has been demonstrated in research that there is a “significant correlation between goal difficulty, group goal commitment, and group performance.” Piezon and Donaldson, n.d., p.1)
Effort is withheld between individuals, achieve rewards, and calculate benefits to be greater when they perceive that doing so has not impact on their outcomes. (Piezon and Donaldson, n.d., paraphrased) When team members work on tasks that are important in a mutual manner to all group members and when all group members held the belief that they are contributed to the task goal then it is more likely that all members of the group will cooperate.
II. Groupthink
Groupthink is described as a process that focuses on the “need for unanimity” which manifests as “a lowered willingness to detect options, moral complacency, and self-censorship” and which ultimately leads to the “deterioration of decision making in the group.” (Rovio, et al., 2009, p. 430) High social cohesion can lead to deterioration in the performance of a group when that group is not aware of how it is actually performing. The illusion of unanimity described as “a collective misconception of reality” may result from “conformism, groupthink, and group polarization.” (Rovio, et al., 2009, p. 431)
Group cohesion is such that is reported to “nearly always been considered a positive quality.” (Rovio, et al., 2009, p. 432) It is stated as well that there has been a dearth of research that reports that high cohesion among group members is linked to higher levels of performance.
Summary and Conclusion
Groupthink while demonstrating a high level of social cohesion can result in deterioration in the performance of the group in instances where the group is under a false illusion of their performance levels. Social facilitation results in higher levels of performance on the part of members of the group while social inhibition results in lower levels of performance on the part of members of the group. Social loafing is a phenomenon that results in a lessened effort on the part of members of the group since group members tend to rely on their fellow team members to pick up their slack in task performance.
Various individual behaviors can be mitigated within the group and in this study the behavior of social loafing was chosen and the method of mitigating this specific behavior targeted through use of task interdependence among group members. This results in all team members relying on one another however, with each group member being assigned a specific task that is their alone to accomplish. Group cohesion is generally held as positive for the group’s performance however, in some cases, the cohesion of a group is counterproductive.
Works Cited
Klehe, UC, Anderson, N., and Hoefnagels, EA (2007) Social Facilitation and Inhibition During Maximum vs. Typical Performance Situations. Human Performance, 20(3), 223-239. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Retrieved from:

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