Psychology- Social Facilitation

For Psychology AQA Unit 2 Specification B Social Facilitation

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What is Social facilitation?

Social facilitation is when the presence of an audience affect a persons ability to carry out a task by making their performance impprove

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What is social inhibition?

Social inhibition is when the presence of an audience affects the persons ability to carry out a task by making their performance deteriorate

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What is (are) the AIm, Method, Result & Conclusion

Aim- what the researcher wanted to find out. QUite often the researcher aims to find out the effect of one thing on another.

Method- How the reseracher conducted the investigation. Studies can be done in many ways.

Results- The data the researcher gained from their experiments

Conclusion- The interpretation the researcher places on their investigatiion- this often relates to the aim, e.g in conclusion, an audience does inhibit the performance of a task

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What was Tripletts study on socialfacilitation (Ai

Aim- to find out the effect of co-actors on performance of a simple task

Method- 40 kids aged between 7-18 were put in pairs, individually asked to reel 16m of thread onto a fishing reel as fast as possible (timed with a stopwatch)

Results- The children completed the taask much quicker when they were with a co-actor rather than individually (2-3seconds improvement on average)

Conclusion- co-actors improve the performance of a simple task

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What was Zajoncs study on social facilitation (Aim

Aim- To investigate the effect of an audience and task difficulty on performance

Method- (1st condition) coackroaches were timed to see how long it took for them to escape a bright light, with an audience and without an audience but only had to run in a straight line to get away. (2nd condition) The coackroaches were again timed to see how long it took them to escape a bright light, but had to use a right turn to get away.

Results- In the 1st condition the cocroaches without an audience performed the task better, however in the 2nd condition the cockroaches with the audience performed the task better

Conclusion- WIthout the presence of an audience simple tasks are performed better. However difficult tasks are performed better with an audience.

NB- the validity of this task is often questionned as performed on cockraoches and not humans

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What was Michaels et al's study (Aim,Method, Resul

Aim- To investigate the prediction that the presence of an audience would facilitate well learned behaviours and inhibit poorly learned behaviours

Mehtod- (1st condition) Student pool players were discreetly observed in a student union buliding whilst playing pool. 12 were selected- 6 above average, 6 below average. (2nd condition) the 12 players were then openly observed whilst playing pool. in both condition the amount of shots they potted was measured

Result- The above-average players potted 80% of their shots compared to 71% when unobserved. The below-average players potted 25% of their shots when observed compared to 36% when unobserved

Conclusion- the presence of an audience facilitates well learned behaviours (Dominant response) so if you are not skilled at something, your performance will be inhibited in thet presence of an audience.

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Draw and describe the Yerkes-Dodson curve?


The more aroused you are the better you perform, however once you pass the optimum arousal level, your performance will decrease

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Define; a) Social facillitation b) Dominant repons

a) Social facilitation: the presence of an audience affects the persons ability to carry out a task by improving it

b) Dominant response: a very well learnt and thoroughly practised "automatic behaviour" more likely in a highly aroused/ stressful situation

c) Non-dominant response: lees well learnt behaviour requiring more thought (concious control) less likely to occur in a state of high arousal/high stress

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Define: a) Evaluation apprehension theory b) Distr

a) Evaluation apprehension theory: an audience increases our arousal levels because we get worried about how an audience is going to judge our performance so our anxiety levels rise in anticipation of embarrassment

b) Distraction conflict theory: an audience acts as a distraction. This creates conflicts between paying attension to the task at hand and paying attension to the audience. Our arousal levels rise as a consquence of this conflict

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