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Groups affect individual conduct
Anybody who's seen a mob attack or a riot or spectators at a football or cricket match or a group of people in the street rushing to the aid of accident victims knows what I'm talking about here.
Groups encourage more risk-taking in individualsIt has been seen that when people are in groups they take risks they wouldn't normally be able to take individually. This is because the shared risk lessens the individual risk because of the diffusion of responsibility.
Groups help reinforce attitudes and positions held by individualsIn 1970, Myers and Bishop put highly prejudiced students together to discuss race relations. These students became even more prejudiced. On the other hand, when they put unprejudiced individuals together, they became even more unprejudiced.
The group is more than the sum of its individual membersNormally, the members of a group reach a common understanding of what they stand for, what they’re going to do and how they are going to do it. This may differ substantially from what they are, what they do and how they do it as individuals.
The author, Dr. Ranee Kaur Banerjee, is Managing Partner at Expressions@Work, a training, consulting and mentoring studio for the development of communication and soft skills