Groups are part of the fundamental aspect of human culture that remains the same in human existence. For instance, people lived in small social groups of families, clans, and tribes during the ancient days. Still, today, people spend most of their time in social groups group, studying, playing sports, or working in organizations (Leary & Tangney, 2012). Therefore, it seems that human beings will remain social beings no matter how they evolve. Research shows that humans have a fundamental need to be in social groups. Notably, group affiliation is the foundation of human existence; there would not be human culture without social groups (Payne, n.d.): groups satisfy a person’s need to belong and provide group members with “information, assistance, and social support” (Payne, n.d.).
Moreover, the need to belong is an inner persuasive force that drives one to form and maintain long-lasting, positive, and impactful interpersonal affiliations (Payne, n.d.). As such, most people satisfy this need by engaging in groups. Accordingly, the social comparison theory by Leon Festinger suggests that people mostly join groups to assess the accuracy of their personal beliefs, views, and attitudes. Further, individuals often affiliate (seek others’ company) when faced with ambiguous and stressful situations (Payne, n.d.). Also, people seek the company of others to maintain their sense of self-worth when they compare themselves with the less fortunate. For example, a student who scores 85% on a test will likely associate with another who scored 78% rather than the one who scored 98% (Payne, n.d.).
Despite the advantages of groups, some people may choose not to affiliate themselves in a group. Subsequently, these individuals may find it challenging to reach their goals. Essentially, group performance is better than individual performance regarding physical strength, memory, knowledge, and other capacities. Besides, they may be discouraged from pursuing their goals, unlike individuals motivated by groups. Nonetheless, positive elements of not affiliating in groups include avoiding social inhibition. Social inhibition is poor or slow performance in the presence of others. Ideally, some tasks are better performed individually rather than in groups. For instance, an individual can play piano better alone than with or in front of others.
Leary, M., & Tangney, J. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of self and identity (2nd ed.). The Guilford Press.
Payne, W. (n.d.). Human Behavior and the Social Environment II.
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Discuss why evidence shows that humans have a fundamental need to belong to groups. What may happen to a person if they have no affiliation with a group?
Is there anything positive about having no group affiliation, or does it only consist of negative consequences?
Reading is chapters 16 and 17. Thank you
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