1. Small Group Dynamics

SOC 41 Small Group Dynamics, Fall, 2022                                           Tonya L. Schuster, Ph.D.


EXERCISE #2: Social Groups and Small Group Dynamics

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15% of course grade, 100 points total – points indicated in [brackets]

General guidelines: 2 points = about a sentence; 6-8 pages total

Do NOT copy/paste the questions into your document.  Use headings (eg., I.A.1.) only.

DUE: November 7 by 11:59pm


  1. A) The Nature of Small Groups (Chapter 14) [34 points]
  2. Describe a secondary small group to which you belong in terms of the definition of a group: social and task cohesion, goal isomorphism, roles/statuses of group members, and any status generalizations [10].
  3. Give an example of a time when you conformed to the group even those you may have disagreed or did not personally want to do so; why do you think you did (in terms of the ideas and findings on conformity in the text). [6]
  4. Watch TV for a short while and observe the commercials (keep a list with details and turn it in with your assignment). Describe and compare the normative and informational influence attempts. [6]. What appeared most effective [4]?
  5. Compare the text’s discussion of minority influence with real-world civil rights protests by minority groups. Give concrete examples of the protests. [8]

B) Small Group Structure, Process, and Intergroup Conflict (Chapters 15 and 16) [34 points]1. Using the secondary small group you identified in Part A, categorize the leader’s style and situational characteristics of the contingency model of leadership.  What type of reward structure operates in this group?  Discuss the pros and cons of equity theory; what problems might this theory have? [12]2. Ask two friends to complete a Sudoku puzzle alone as fast as they can, and then another two friends to do the same only in the presence of several others.  Measure the time it takes them to complete the puzzle, and then compare the results.  Do they confirm or disconfirm the social facilitation hypothesis?  If they disconfirm the hypothesis why do you think this is so? [10]3. Describe an instance in which you were guilty of social loafing.  Why did you loaf? Is this consistent with the text explanation?  How could it have been prevented? [6] C)  Choose a UCI out-group (Eg., CA State Fullterton, UCSB), and describe how intergroup conflict alters within-group processes. For example, how does your sorority/fraternity/club change in how they interact with other UCI groups when they are at a basketball game between UCI and the out-group? [6 points] -Continued next page-


  1. D. Article reading assignments [32 points; 8 points each]

These you will work on together in class in your groups; you will submit individual responses.

Relate each article to material covered in the text Chapters, and answer the following:

  1. Refer to Article 34. Why must every interpersonal contact have an objective? What factors reduce the effectiveness of interpersonal contact?  Why must creating win-lose transactions be avoided?
  2. Refer to Article 32. What factors are associated with successful and healthy leaders?
  3. Refer to Article 33. How can leaders avoid the misleading influence of their followers? How can followers avoid misleading their leaders?
  4. Refer to Article 35. Contrast collective wisdom and groupthink





Late assignments will not be accepted for credit unless PRIOR consent has also been arranged (as possible) as specified in the syllabus.