What is a Group?

A group can be defined as an organized system of two or more individuals, who are interactive and interdependant. The group members have common motives, have a set of role relationships amongst its members and have norms i.e. the unwritten rules which regulate the behavior of the group members.

Characteristics/features of a Group

  • Group is a social unit which involves of two or more persons who think of themselves as belonging to the group. It helps in differentiating one group from the other and gives the group its exclusive identity.
  • Groups refer to a collection of individuals who have similar motives and goals. Members of the group work towards achieving a given goal or away from certain threats.
  • Individuals in a group are interdependent i.e. what one is doing may have effects or consequences for the other members.
  • Individuals also influence each other when they try to satisfy a need through their joint association.
  • Members of a group interact with one another in a direct or indirect manner.
  • Interactions in a group are structured by a set of roles and norms. Hence, the group members comply to the group norms. Here, norms refer to the unwritten rules or the guidelines which tell the group members how they should behave in the group and it also specifies the behaviors expected from the group.

What is a Crowd?

  • Crowd refers to a collection of individuals who may be present at a place/situation by chance.
  • There is no structure or any feeling of attachment or any mutual understanding in a crowd.
  • People in crowds show irrational behavior and there is not any interdependence or interactive behavior amongst the members.

What is a team?

  • Teams are specific kinds of groups. Team members often have complementary skills and they are dedicated to a common aim or purpose.
  • The team members are mutually answerable for their activities. In teams, there is a positive synchronised energy achieved via the coordinated and regulated efforts of the members.

Difference between Groups and Teams

Groups

Teams

The group performance is dependent on the contribution of the individual members.

Both individual contributions and teamwork matters in order to achieve the set goal.

The leader holds responsibility and is answerable for the work done by the group.

Although there is a leader, the team members hold themselves responsible for the work done by the team.

What is an Audience? What is a Mob?

  • Audience refers to a collection of people who have assembled for a special purpose or for achieving a specific goal.
  • Audiences are often passive but sometimes they may become uncontrollable and they get converted into mobs.
  • However, mobs refer to a collection of people who have a definite sense of purpose.
  • There is scattering of attention and the actions of the members are in the same direction.
  • Mob behavior involves uniformity of thought and behavior of the members. The behavior involves impulsivity as well

Why do people join groups?

Security

When we are alone, we feel insecure. However, when we are a member of a group our insecurity decreases. Being with people, give us a sense of comfort and protection. Hence, people feel stronger and less open to threats.

Status

When people are members of a group, they are anticipated to be important by other people. The people’s sense of power and self-esteem increases and they recognized by others.

Self-esteem

When members of a group, people establish feelings of self-worth and a positive social identity is also developed. Being a member of a distinguished and reputable group improves one’s self concept.

Satisfaction of one's psychological and social needs

Groups can satisfy one’s psychological and social requirements such as sense of acceptance and attachment, giving and receiving attention, love and sense of power.

Goal achievement

Groups assist the individuals in achieving their goals which are difficult to be achieved individually. There is power in majority.

Providing knowledge and information

When we are members of a group, our knowledge and skills improve. The information provided, broadens our mental horizon. As individuals, we may not have all the required information. However, groups fill up this gap and provide us with all the required information and knowledge.

When we are part of a group, it not only provides us with the support and comfort which we need but it also helps in facilitating our growth and development as an individual.