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group processes


Subject Social Psychology and Personality » Group Processes

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631202899.1996.x


The study of group processes is enormously wide ranging. It can focus on individual cognitive and motivational processes that produce group behaviors, interpersonal processes among more than two people, cognitive and social processes that cause people to conceive of themselves as group members and behave accordingly, intergroup relations that affect intragroup processes, the interrelationship of individual, interpersonal, and social processes, the behavior of specific groups or types of group, and so forth ( Baron, Kerr, & Miller, 1992 ; Brown, 1988 ; Hogg & Abrams, 1988 ; Moreland & Levine, 1994 ). What unites this diversity is a focus on the group as a social psychological entity. There is, however, little agreement on a social psychological definition of the group. The prevalent view (since Floyd Allport in the early 1920s) is that a group is a collection of individuals, and that group processes are actually individual or interpersonal processes among a number of people. For instance, Latané's social impact theory attributes differences between interpersonal and group behavior to, among other things, the effects of increasing the number of people. An alternative perspective is that groups and group behavior are qualitatively distinct from individuals and interpersonal behavior, and thatdifferent or additional concepts are required to analyze groups. This perspective ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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