Effects of Group Interaction and Power of Individuals

Topic: Effects of Group Interaction and Power of Individuals

Posted by: Anna and Soomin

Key Terms:

  • Group Polarization: the enhancement of a group's prevailing attitudes through discussion within the group
  • Groupthink: the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives


Group interaction can make tasks easier/harder, tempt people to free-ride on other people's work or exert themselves, and enhance humor or fuel mob violence. Group Polarization happens when people within a group discuss attitudes that most of them either favor or oppose. This can be either be good (a spiritual group) or bad (the KKK for instance). Being in groups could polarize effects because their views echo one another's.
Group interaction can distort important decisions; Groupthink is the harmonious but unrealistic group thinking, it can make groups of people make stupid mistakes. However, groupthink has its positive aspects too; open debates often shape good decisions.
The power of an individual is as great as the power of a group. A committed individual may influence a whole group; social history is often made by a minority that sways the majority.

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