Essay on Groups (Psychology)!
A group is a collection of two or more individuals which continue to exist for some purpose for some time. Groups are divided by different people in different ways.
C H Cooley divided groups into primary and secondary groups. A primary group is a small group where there will be only few members and they have intimate, face-to-face contacts with each other. Interaction is direct and they have warm, emotional relationships. Members meet each other frequently.
They think and act together and make willing sacrifices for each other. For example, family is the universal primary group. In secondary groups the relations are less personal and intimate, they are casual and abstract. For example, community. In modern society secondary groups express the cultural pattern of life in any community. They satisfy only partial and secondary needs, and face-to-face contacts may not be present.
Groups are also divided into in-group and out-group. The group to which a person belongs is in-group. Here, the relationship is cordial; there will be loyalty and cooperation among members. The out-group is one to which we do not belong.
Some groups are formal which are created for a specific purpose. For example, Audience in a music program. There are informal groups which are formed on their own over a period of time. For example, people joined to witness a roadside show, a crowd or mob.
Now let us consider the psychology of formal groups. Groups have several advantages. People in groups work together and have definite programs and objectives. Often their members think, feel and act together.
In counselling, groups are formed with specific goals and intentions. In a group, performance is enhanced by mutual support. Groups force people to conform. In a group gradually norms develop. Norms are the rules and regulations that govern group behaviour. Members are made to accept or conform to these rules.
Conformity behaviour helps groups to work for attainment of group goals. Groups tend to move toward uniformity of opinion called cohesiveness. Such uniformity tends to be greater when there are fewer differences within the members. Group norms help to overcome ambiguous situations.
Usually in groups the majority opinion is more relevant to group’s functioning, but sometimes the tyranny of the majority may be counter acted by a persistent minority. A small group of dissenting people can sometimes bring about changes in the group.
Certain factors which help for better functioning of group are— group cohesion, group facilitation and group morale. As stated already group cohesion refers to uniformity of opinion of its members. It is necessary for its effectiveness. The group is perceived as ‘one’ i.e. feeling of solidarity exists among members. Group facilitation refers to the facilitating effect of group on performance. This gives members a feeling of contentment. Group morale is a positive group feeling of general satisfaction and enthusiasm for work. In hospitals there will be many groups like doctors, nurses, etc.
It is very important for nurses to have a cohesive group of themselves. When there is cohesion there will be morale. When there is criticism against them, all the nursing staff can resist unitedly.
When the group morale is high, the group tends to be more active and productive. If it is low there will be disintegration, members avoid discussion, feel uneasy and cannot express their feelings and cannot solve their problems.
However, the group influence may not be always beneficial. Some members may prefer to deviate from group norms which lead to disintegration. For example, in informal groups such as crowd and mob there may not be any control over its members. As such there are all chances of involving in antisocial activities. Because in such groups there will be anonymity and irrationality.