• Observe a group discussing a topic of interest such as a focus group, a community public assembly, a department meeting at your workplace, or local support group
• Study how the group members interact and impact one another
• Analyze how the group behaviors and communication patterns influence social facilitation
• Integrate your findings with evidence-based literature from journal articles, textbook, and additional scholarly sources
Purpose: To provide you with an opportunity to experience a group setting and analyze how the presence of others substantially influences the behaviors of its members through social facilitation.
Process: You will participate as a guest at an interest group meeting in your community to gather data for a qualitative research paper. Once you have located an interest group, contact stakeholders and explain the purpose of your inquiry. After you receive permission to participate, you will schedule a date to attend the meeting; at which time you will observe the members and document the following for your analysis:
• How were the people arranged in the physical environment (layout of room and seating arrangement)?
• What is the composition of the group, in terms of number of people, ages, sex, ethnicity, etc.?
• What are the group purpose, mission, and goals?
• What is the duration of the group (short, long-term)? Explain.
• Did the group structure its discussion around an agenda, program, rules of order, etc.?
• Describe the structure of the group. How is the group organized?
• Who are the primary facilitators of the group?
• What subject or issues did the group members examine during the meeting?
• What types of information did members exchange in their group?
• What were the group’s norms, roles, status hierarchy, or communication patterns?
• What communication patterns illustrated if the group was unified or fragmented? Explain.
• Did the members share a sense of identity with one another (characteristics of the group-similarities, interests, philosophy, etc.)?
• Was there any indication that members might be vulnerable to Groupthink? Why or why not?
• In your opinion, how did the collective group behaviors influence individual attitudes and the group’s effectiveness? Provide your overall analysis.
Write a 1,200- to 1,500-word paper incorporating your analysis with evidence to substantiate your conclusion. Explain how your observations relate to research studies on norm formation, group norms, conformity, and/or social influence. Integrate your findings with literature from the textbook, peer-reviewed journal articles, and additional scholarly sources. Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.