Individual Behavior in the Presence of Others

Topic: Individual Behavior in the Presence of Others

Posted by: Yeonsu, Matt

Key Terms:

  • Social facilitation - improved performance of tasks in the presence of others; occurs with simple or well-learned tasks but not with tasks that are difficult or not yet mastered.
  • Social loafing - the tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable.
  • Deindividuation - the loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity


  • People tend to behave differently when there is presence of others. People tend to do worse job on difficult tasks when there are other people watching than by themselves. People tend to do better job on easy tasks when there are other people watching.
The point to remember - Whatyou do well, you are more likely to do even better job in front of audience , especially friendly audience.
  • One tends to work less affectively when he or she is working in a group with people who have the same goal than working alone.
Why? People acting as part of a group feels less accountable, less worries. Their contribution might be viewed as dispensable.
  • The presence of others can arouse people or can diminish their feelings of responsibility.
Example - food fight, Ku Klux Klan, screaming at basketball referee, worship, ballgame, being part of a band, and etc.

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Related Videos and Pictures:

Individual Behavior in the Presence of Others - The Neuron
Social Facilitation
cyclists' racing times were faster when they competed against each other than when they competed with a clock

This video is example of deindividuation.

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