Social Loafing - what is it & how does it affect group behaviour?

Social loafing is the term that describes how people are likely to put in less effort when taking part in a group task, because they know others will complete it.

This was investigated by Latane (1979) when participants were asked to shout & clap as loud as they could. Participants were either in a group or alone and were asked to wear headphones so they could not hear the amount of noise others produced. Participants responses were recorded and compared.

When in a group, participants made about 1/3 the noise they would make if they were alone.

This study shows us how being in a group can change on our behaviour & make us put less effort into a task, than if we were completing it alone.

Does this have relevance in a work setting? How?


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