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Social Loafing Essay

1897 words - 8 pages

Social Loafing

A major component of Social Psychological research is based on social
loafing. Social loafing can result in diverse possibilities and also
not only affects the individual who is conducting the social
phenomenon but also group members are subjected to exposure.
Discussion regarding the reasons of social loafing as an occurrence
will be based primarily on evidence from literature regarding the
specific component, envy. Possibilities of outcomes range from members
being awarded unfair workloads or dissatisfaction, to group
performance being decreased. Theories that support some of these and
other notions will become evident after the recognition of previous
research findings. Discussion will be based primarily on Ringleman who
is supported by Ingham and also Latane, Karau Williams and Harkins
(specifically Latane) and. To sum up, personal opinion will be
reviewed and compared to its validity in reducing social loafing in an
educational setting. ‘Educational setting’, on this occasion is
specifically referring to groups of University students creating
poster presentations.

Initially the definition of social loafing according to a recognised
Psychology dictionary will be stated. The dilemma as to what aspects
result in ‘social loafing’ is recognised in this literature with
differences from theories, concepts and experiments as cited being
evaluated. This evidence is aimed to acknowledge and prove the
predicament of the affects and causes related to ‘social loafing’.
Aspects, which contribute to the reduction of social loafing in an
educational setting, are resulted prior to the conclusion as a
prominent component of this essay.

According to Reber and Reber, (2001:690) social loafing refers to ‘the
inclination for the application or exertion of effort by individuals
to be greater when working alone in comparison to the reduced amount
of effort present when working with others or in groups’.

The discovery of envy as a component has allowed further analysis in
determining explanation for social loafing. According to Reber ad
Reber, (2001:244) envy ‘is based on a resentful acknowledgement of
those who are more fortunate persons’. Envy can be provoked numerous
ways but social comparison is essentially the prompt for this
incidence. The phenomenon of envy is usually due to the resentment of
personal qualities in correspondence to the Cinderella myth (Ulanov &
Ulanov, 1983. As cited in Duffy & Shaw, 2000). Acknowledgement of
superior achievements of a work colleague could merely be adequate to
trigger the reaction of envy (Tesser & Campbell, 1990. As cited in
Duffy & Shaw). As could the recognition of lack of sporting abilities
compared to other team members be enough to influence or generate this
reaction.

Traditional workplace settings are believed to be the...

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