10 Basics Of Group Dynamics

Go here for the explanations of each of the 10 basic “psych 101″ points and also to find further articles on the topic.  I found point 6 most interesting and so included it in full below:

1. Groups can arise from almost nothing

2. Initiation rites improve group evaluations

3. Groups breed conformity

4. Learn the ropes or be ostracised

5. You become your job

6. Leaders gain trust by conforming

A high-profile, high-status role in any group is that of its leader, but where do leaders come from? In some groups, they are appointed or imposed from outside, but in many groups leaders emerge slowly and subtly from the ranks.

A study that has much to teach was carried out by Merei (1949) who observed children at a Hungarian nursery school. He noticed that successful leaders were those who initially fitted in with the group then slowly began to suggest new activities adapted from the old. Children didn’t follow potential leaders who jumped straight in with new ideas. Leaders first conform, then only later, when trust has been gained, can they be confident that others will follow. This has been confirmed in later studies (with grown-ups!).

7. Groups can improve performance…

8. …but people will loaf

9. The grapevine is 80% accurate

10. Groups breed competition

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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