Summary of Group theory and Group skills - Johnson & Johnson - 11th edition


1. Dynamics in groups

Introduction: individuals and groups

Every human being functions within a group. People are born into a family group. Later in life, humans form other groups with friends and coworkers. Group membership is a dominate characteristic of human interaction. Humans are social creatures from birth until death. Survival is dependent on our ability to function in groups. Our identity is determined by how we are perceived and treated by our peers. An area of social science called group dynamics is the scientific study of the nature of group life, how people behave in groups, how groups develop, and how group members interrelate with each other and with the group as a whole. The aim of this book is to explain group theory and research as well as to help the reader improve their small-group skills.

“Group” definition

It is important to clarify what the term “group” means. Many social scientists disagree with each other in this regard. Here, we’ll discuss seven of the most common definitions. Pay close attention to how and where the definitions are alike or different. One way to define a group is as a number of individuals who join together to achieve a goal. People join groups to achieve goals that they would not be able to achieve alone. Social scientists, Freeman (as early as 1936), Mills, and Deutsch argue that groups would not exist unless there is a common goal that the members are all trying to achieve.

A second way to define a group is as a collection of individuals who are interdependent in some way. By this definition, individuals are a group when an event that affects one

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