Social Facilitation

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  • Social Facilitation
    • The tendency for people to perform better on tasks in the presence of others
    • Social Inhibition
      • The tendency for people to perform worse on tasks in the presence of others
    • Dominant Responses
      • Most likely response to be given in a certain situation
        • Most usual, appropriate or best practiced
    • Arousal Theory
      • Michaels et al Study
        • Pool players observed from a far, classed as average or below ave.
          • Shot accuracy recorded from players unknowingly observed
            • Then recorded when they know they're being observed
              • AVE - increase shot accuracy by 9%
              • BELOW AV - decrease shot accuracy by 11%
      • People put in a state of arousal and alertness by presence of others
        • Arousal acts as a drive to bring out a dominant response
          • Easy Task, DRs are usually correct, facilitation
          • Harder Task, DRs are usually incorrect, inhibition
      • Zajonc Study
        • Cockroaches either in pairs or alone
          • On an easy track(straight) or hard track (bends)
            • Easy track, better in pairs
            • Hard track, better alone
            • When alone with a cockroach audience, facilitation on easy, inhibition on hard
      • Yerkes-Dodson Law
        • Performance is best at optimal arousal levels
        • At low or high arousal levels, performance is worse
        • Explains why competent performers can perform badly in front of audience
    • Evaluation Apprehension Theory
      • The anxiety of having a performance  evaluated raises arousal, not mere presence of others
        • We learn to fear evaluation when others are around
          • Dominant responses brought out due to arousal increase
      • Henchy and Glass Study
        • Assessed typing ability in 4 conditions
          • Alone, with 2 experts, with 2 non-experts, alone but filmed for later eval.
            • Facilitation of dominant responses in conditions 2 and 4
      • In studies where the audience is blindfolded, evaluation can't happen, so no facilitation
    • Distraction-Conflict Theory
      • Presence of others causes attention of performer to divide between audience and task
        • Conflict causes arousal increase, brining dominant responses
        • Lack of concentration leads to worse performance
          • Impaired performance on hard tasks. Improved performance on simple tasks
            • Conflict causes arousal increase, brining dominant responses
      • Sanders et al Study
        • Simple and complex digit copying task. In coaction with another.
          • Co-actor was doing same task or different task
            • Same task was the distraction condition
              • Number of mistakes made was measured
                • Distraction condition saw complex task inhibited and simple task facilitated


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