1. Introduction: The Study of Group Behavior.- Definition of the Group.- Topographical Aspects of Groups.- Temporal Aspects of Groups.- Overview of the Rest of the Book.- 2. Social Comparison Theory: Self-Evaluation and Group Life.- The Origins of Social Comparison Theory.- A Modified Theory of Social Comparison Processes.- Social Comparison Processes in Specific Group Settings.- Conclusions.- 3. Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Collective Actions and Individual Reactions.- Cognitive Dissonance Theory.- Cognitive Dissonance in Groups.- Applications.- Conclusion.- 4. Self-Presentation Theory: Self-Construction and Audience Pleasing.- General Principles.- Operation of the Theory in Group Contexts.- Applications.- 5. Drive Theory: Effects of Socially Engendered Arousal.- Presentation of the Theory.- Operation of the Theory in Group Contexts.- Applications.- Conclusion.- 6. Social Impact Theory: A Social Forces Model of Influence.- General Principles.- Operations of the Theory in Group Contexts.- Applications.- 7. Self-Attention Theory: The Effects of Group Composition on the Individual.- Presentation of the Theory.- Operation of the Theory in Group Settings.- Applications.- 8. Social Cognition Theory of Group Processes.- Basic Concepts and Processes.- Social Cognition in Group Settings.- Conclusions.- 9. Transactive Memory: A Contemporary Analysis of the Group Mind.- General Principles.- The Transactive Memory System.- Applications.- Conclusions.- 10. Theories of Group Behavior: Commentary.- The Individual's Response to Social Forces.- Self-Validation in Groups.- Social Knowledge in Groups.- Group Decision Making: An Integrative Account.- Conclusion and Future Considerations.- Author Index.
In the fall of 1983, we began to organize a symposium entitled "General Social Psychological Theories of Group Behavior." Our goal was to encourage the extension and application of basic current social psychology to group behavior. The symposium was presented in the spring of 1984 at the Eastern Psychological Association convention in Baltimore and the interest that it generated led to discussions with colleagues and friends about similar efforts by social psychologists, eventually resulting in the present book. Some clarification about the contents is in order. First, the theories presented here are clearly social psychological in scope and level of analysis, as discussed in the Introduction (Chapter 1). However, we are not trying to encompass sociological, anthropological, political, or historical theoretical approaches to group behavior. Second, while the theories comprise a wide-ranging and representative, if not quite exhaustive, selection of social psychological theories of group behavior, there are some interesting and general perspectives that are not represented. For example, one perspective that is conspicuous by its absence is some variant of learning theory. Aside from the rare, notable exception (e.g., Buss, 1979), little work currently is being done on group behavior from a learning theoretic perspective. Our inclusion or exclusion of a theory reflects our judgment regarding its currency and accessibility to social psychological researchers.
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