Social Facilitation vs. Social Disruption

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Something that I thought was worthy of discussion and further thinking was the differences of social facilitation vs. social disruption. By definition social facilitation means the mere presence of others can enhance our performance in certain situations. On the other hand, social disruption means a worsening of performance in the presence of others. The article that I have atatched talked about a test that some psychology students conducted. In this experiment, they wanted to see the effects that eating had on either social facilitation or disruption. The subjects ate either alone or with other people for five days straight. Interestingly enough, the subjects ate more when they were in the presence of others. Using scientific principles I can say that correlation doesn't equal causation, so there could have been other factors contributing to this finding, but this study shows a casual arrow between the number of people that you eat with and the amount that you consume. I would have thought that in the presence of others, people would demonstrate social disruption because they don't want to out eat their peers, and look like a pig. Maybe people eat more in groups because they get caught up in conversation and don't pay attention to how much they are consuming, or maybe it's because they see others eating more and feel they should continue eating with them to be polite. Whatever it is, my hypothesis clearly was proven wrong. I also thought that this finding could be beneficial to people on diets or trying to lose some weight, to try and refrain from eating with groups. With the obesity rates in our country, many people could find some benefit from this finding.

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This page contains a single entry by pete8740 published on December 13, 2011 8:16 PM.

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