Intro to ‘proper’ Research

The sketchbook and poster I created as a result of my mini brainstorm left me with a lot of questions buzzing about my head. I decided to go to the library and use ‘cross-search’ to find some research articles which related to groups and working alone. I found some really interesting looking Journal articles which had studies such as; group vs individual training, gender-orientation and status within groups. I found about forty articles that interested me!

I had to narrow down my selection however so I opted to just research groups vs individuals. (I had wanted to look into the working environment as well eg the design of the space or lighting. I think that two area’s of focus however might have been a little bit ambitious and overwhelming for my first attempt at ‘proper’ research) I further  narrowed down my selection by reading the ‘abstracts’ and considering the date. I realize that a lot of my chosen articles are quite dated but some of them sounded really intriguing! I also noticed that some of the older articles related to each other better than the more modern ones did. I think it would be really nice to be able to connect my research and get some ideas’ by seeing these connections.

I have included my research articles in the bibliography below, most are journals and a couple are books. (All references are noted down in the Harvard Style) (All annotations below the references are my own summaries) (All NB notes are just reminders for me about possible links or ideas)

My Research Bibliography

Darley, J. M., Tegar, A. I., (1973) Do Groups Always Inhibit Individuals Responses To Potential Emergencies, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 395-399

This experiment investigates the link between bystander intervention and group communication processes. It tests whether groups that could exchange reactions to a ‘loud crash’ would respond differently to groups who could not see each other. It found that people in groups would interact to arrive at an interpretation of it.

NB:Think about how being in a a group might affect opinion and reactions of members. Can you get away with not doing things better when your in a group?

De Dreu, C. K. W., Baas, M., Nijstad, B. A. (2008) Hedonic Tone and Activation Level in the Mood-Creativity Link Toward a Dual Pathway to Creative Model, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 94, no. 5, pp. 739-756

Investigation into the effects of a persons mood on the volume and originality of their ideas and insights. Results showed that ‘activating moods’ (e.g. angry, happy) were more productive that ‘deactivating moods’ (e.g. sad, relaxed). Studies on mood manipulation were carried out on creative processes such as brainstorming and all support the ‘model’.

NB:Think about a ‘deactivating mood’ group vs a ‘activating mood’ individual. Possible hindrance to pro-group argument.

Hampson, R. B., Schulte, M. A., Ricks, C. C. (1883) Individual vs. Group Training for Foster Parents: Effectiveness Evaluations, Family Relations, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 191-201

This study compared foster parents who were trained in a group format to those trained individually in their homes. There were few differences between the groups based on attitude and knowledge. The parents trained in groups however had poor attendance rates and had less success on implementing the training.

NB:Could be good when thinking about participation in groups and how much we actually absorb. This also reminded me of (Gladwell, 2000) research into “transactive memory”.

Haupt, A. L., Leary, M. R. (1997) The Appeal of Worthless Groups: Moderating Effects of Trait Self-Esteem, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 124-132

This study tested a known hypothesis: people with low trait self-esteem prefer to join worthless groups because their membership will seem less tenuous (insubstantial) than in a worthwhile group. This was proved correct by giving a mixture of people with high and low trait self-esteem the choice to work alone or in a group on a worthwhile task and a worthless task.

NB:Links to the masculine/feminine group choice article  – contribution discussion.

Hojnacki, M. (1997) Interest Groups’ Decisions to Join Alliances or Work Alone, American Journal of Political Science, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 61-87

This article explores whether an alliance is likely to improve an organizations chances for success relative to working alone. The results (which were gained through interviews with representatives) revealed that coalition was a disadvantage when groups had narrow interests in an area or little to contribute. If the groups had a passionate interest in the issue and were driven by success however the benefits of a coalition were substantial.

NB:Current government – hung parliament – Conservatives/Liberal Democrats. ‘Working alone’ in this case still equals a group however it might be nice to look at the problems/benefits of joining groups in politics to mix things up a bit and some of the principles might still be applicable.

Moore, C. M., (1987) Group Techniques For Idea Building, London, California, New Delhi: Sage Publications Inc.

Specifically identifies the ‘Delphi Technique’ where, if you properly combine the judgement of a large number of people you will achieve a more accurate result. Chapter one outlines an argument on groups vs individuals.

NB:This book is quite old but is the technique still relevant today? Might be good for a supposed theory.

Pronin, E., Jacobs, E., Wegner, D. M., (2008) Psychological Effects of Thought Acceleration, Emotion – American Psychological Association, vol. 8, no. 5, pp. 597-612

This study revealed that the subjective experience of having lots of quick thoughts produces positive moods. It discusses the implications of the link between ‘racing thoughts’ and euphoria.

NB:Sounds really interesting and slightly wacky. Relates to Hedonic Tone article.

Ridgeway, C. L., (1982) Status in Groups: The Importance of Motivation, American Sociological Review, vol. 57, no. 1, pp. 76-88

This paper explores the link between the status and influence a person achieves in a group with whether they are group-orientated or task-orientated. It describes how people with low external status e.g. woman in mixed sex groups can achieve high levels of influence in a task-orientated group. (For example: Males (high status members) achieved high influence levels regardless of their motivation)

NB:How do you get everyone to be an active contributer? Value of opinion/nature of opinion versus status of the member.

Vancouver, J. B., Ilgen, D. R. (1989) Effects of Interpersonal Orientation and the Sex-Type of the Task on Choosing to Work Alone or in Groups, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 74, no. 6, pp. 927-934

The preference for working alone or in a group when faced with either a masculine or feminine task was examined. It was expected and found that anticipation of success was affected by gender and the sex-type of the task so influenced the persons choice to work alone or in a group. The effect of ‘interpersonal orientation’ on choice was also investigated however it had little affect on the persons decision.

NB:The make-up of a group – masculine/feminine – pre-conceptions.

Vernelle, B., Brown, A. (ed.) Kerslake, A. (ed.) (1994) Understanding and Using Groups, London: Whiting and Birch Ltd

The book does not argue against groups but provides possible problems that might occur in a group. Chapter Three: Getting on with the work of the group has sections on time, size and postive/negative groups. These sections relate to topics that have came up in some of the Journals.

NB:Good for referencing problem solving in a pro-group argument.

Oh and here’s some colourful notes to brighten this post up a bit!



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