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Why partying could be dangerous?


“The use of self-control is like the use of brakes on a train. It is useful when you find yourself going in the wrong way direction, but merely harmful when the direction is right.” – Bertrand Russell

Welcome to the next article, today let’s try to explore the causes behind ‘people losing their sense in groups’. I’m sure we have come across characters in the movie that has ‘no life’ – a nerdy, career focused and goal orientated then there is another character that describes oneself as ‘full of life’ – always happy-go-lucky, parties each day and so on. The second character makes the first character to believe that life is no that one s/he is leading, its all about partying! But I see it is as a deceptive character because the likely trend that is likely to follow is decrease in self-awareness and its leads to deindividuation (labelled by Leon Festinger, Albert Pepitone, and Theodore Newcomb). This behavior is often observed on consumption of alcohol. Let’s look into few examples on loss of self-awareness and evaluation apprehension that occurs in a group situations that foster responsiveness to group norms, good or bad.

We have come across lynch mob often believes that they will never be caught or prosecuted, as the action is perceived as a group’s work. Faceless looters are often take advantage of the situation. Now a picture people storming out after watching their team win or lose to celebrate or mourn/vent angry. They can quickly lose self-awareness and create chaos this can be attributed to arousal or distractions. This scenario is observed across several places when their favorite cine star is rested in peace!

These examples suggests us that people fail to make conscious discrimination. Individual consciousness gets replaced by collective unconsciousness.

Does it mean deindividuation is is bad mostly? Certainly not! Deindividuating group experiences such as dancing, worship, positive activity to bring cohesiveness is encouraging.

The bottom line could be, ‘Party! but don’t forget who you are’.

I hope we had some interesting understanding on deindividuation. In a group discussion if some people in a group lingers to their initial inclinations over reaching a consensus, what that would be like? Let’s look into this in our next article. Till then, Good day!

Do individual contribute less in the group?


“No one is accountable if individuals are unaccountable” – Santosh Avvannavar

Welcome to the next article to understand, why often people in a group feels that others aren’t contributing as much one think so? Let me take this out of my experience meeting an HR Manager of a company. Manager had invited me to discuss on the concern that is likely to exists in others. The following points were raised:

  1. How to make employees to take ownership of their work?
  2. People often make or take excuses while working on a project and this is heightened during deadlines. There is blame game everywhere!
  3. But this blame ceases when appraisals happen. Each individuals want to credit it as their project.

The case above and several others like at college project (like group project) Social Loafing is seen (labeled by Bibb Latane, Kipling Williams and Stephen Harkins). This happens because of the ‘common goal’ over the ‘individual goal’, where people tend to put less effort than otherwise. This is true because for a common goal, individuals are not accountable.

The case of Social loafing from Manager’s perspective could be tackled with combinations of following points:

  1. Developing a model to mechanize the evaluation apprehension.
  2. To provide/make task challenging, appealing and involving. This will lead individuals to feel that their efforts will be recognised.
  3. Incentive or reward or promotion could also be reflected on case basis.
  4. Helping people grow in their role that will give a vision to their expectations.
  5. Creating a team with like-minded people, likely to create a team.

The above mentioned five points could probably arrest social loafing by creating a culture of ‘us’.

If social loafing isn’t addressed, will people lose their sense of self in the group? Let’s look into this in our next article. Till then, Good day!

Does crowd presence really arouse people?


There is a puritan saying, “A good house is a full house”. Welcome to the next article to understand, if individuals (or we) are really aroused by others presence? In the last article we see that social facilitation happens and we respond to others. Out of my personal experience I could recall of being there for a friend while he took an arrears during a semester examination. I although had finished the examination few days earlier but decided to stay with him to complete his only a paper. I walked with him till the examination room. I told him that I wouldn’t move, till he receive the paper and nods his head confirming that he could clear the examination. This was an example to mention that during stress, companion can be comforting. But this was just complete opposite during normal semester time when he had to make a class presentation. He often perspire more, and showed the indicators of stress by sweat trickling from his brow. This extreme pressure he was found to be choking. Otherwise he wasn’t being with a known group.

In order to understand this affect of crowd in a movie hall, I went to see a English movie thrice in the same hall during the same week. I chose a seat that had crowd around me. I realized that some percentage of crowd was unable to follow the British accent. At some scene I intentionally laughed, and found that neighboring members were also induced to laugh.

There was another experience of handling three sections of a computer science students on a training module. Section 1 had 65% attendance and the class didn’t seem lively because of the empty chairs and grouping the students (friends were separated). Section 2 had 90% attendance, I noticed students felt warm and lively (some friends were made to sit together). And section 2 had 100% attendance and the students felt warm and lively (friends were made to sit together). This experimentation showed me that crowding can enhance arousal with people being seated with liked people and results could be easy behavior that facilitates the dominant behavior.

These example and others tells us crowd can intensify positive or negative reactions. But the question is, why does presence of others arouse us? Let’s look into this in our next article. Till then, Good day!

Does ‘Mere Presence’ of others affect us?


“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” – Karl Marx, Das Kapital

Earlier article we had some exposure on Group Influence (click here). Today, lets look into to understanding the blurs between the arguments on, does mere presence of others affects us? The mere presence argument is to mean that people aren’t competing, no appreciation or reward or punish. The situation is like passive audience. Norman Triplett (1898) noticed that cyclists’ times faster when racing together than when racing alone. In his own experiments with children on a task to wind string on a fishing reel as rapidly as possible. He found that children wound faster when worked with others than when worked alone. Several other experiments such as simple problems of multiplication, motor tasks and others confirmed the understanding of Social Facilitation.

However this might have seemed good but several others studies tasks which had complex multiplication problems or learning a maze hindered the performances. This confusion on sometimes facilitates or hinders, had ground to a halt. After nearly two and half decade, Robert Zajonc used basis from experimental psychology: Arousal enhances whatever response tendency is dominant. This principle actually helped in understanding the confusion that otherwise that remained for awhile. Mullen and others, found that others’ presence will energize people or arouse people. Performances showed easy behavior in easier tasks because of the social facilitates dominant responses and difficult behavior on difficult tasks because of the social facilitates dominant responses. This is often seen during a game/match that a supportive crowd responses can energies the players to performer. Does this mean larger crowd always help others performance? Let’s look into this in our next article. Till then, Good day!

Likely Definition: Social facilitation is the tendency of people to perform simple or well-learned tasks better when others are present.

Group Influence


As Margaret Mead says, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” World contains formal and informal groups. How do they influence individuals? The interactions among the group seem to have dramatic effects. The questions to be addressed how do these individuals affect behavior of the people in the group? and how decisions are impacted?

Before we look into these fascinating questions, lets first see, what is a group? According to Marvin Shaw, an expert of Group Dynamics, ‘All groups have a common thing and that is interaction.’ Does it mean people sitting in a movie hall aren’t a group? Shaw argues that mere collection of people would not be a group. There seem to be a blurs with several others arguing that ‘a mere presence could also sometimes influence one another.’ In the next article we shall try to understand ‘how presence of others can affect?’ under social facilitation topic. Till then, have a great day!

Cord 14


UC14.001

Reviews – click here & Goodreads

Ebook : Amazon

Facebook Page : UC

“Here comes a compilation of 40 short stories by Meena R Chandawarkar and Santosh Avvannavar that uses The Umbilical Cord as a metaphor to bring social awareness and intends to draw the reader’s attention towards the society. The stories in this book revolve around love, forgiveness, empathy etc. as society is a cobweb of relationships. There is something for everyone in this book. Read on to find out which ‘cord’ is closer to your heart, as the Umbilical Cord is an attachment that remains forever…the name says it all…”

Cord 13


UC13.001

Reviews – click here & Goodreads

Ebook : Amazon

Facebook Page : UC

“Here comes a compilation of 40 short stories by Meena R Chandawarkar and Santosh Avvannavar that uses The Umbilical Cord as a metaphor to bring social awareness and intends to draw the reader’s attention towards the society. The stories in this book revolve around love, forgiveness, empathy etc. as society is a cobweb of relationships. There is something for everyone in this book. Read on to find out which ‘cord’ is closer to your heart, as the Umbilical Cord is an attachment that remains forever…the name says it all…”