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Presence of Others

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Behavioral changes while in the presence of others has been an ongoing study for over a hundred years. Triplet (1989) discovered that groups seemed to perform better than individuals when it came to motor tasks and speed with simple calculations. This performance improvement while in groups is called social facilitation. Other studies claim that it can also hurt the performance of the group if completing complex mental learning or problems. Social Facilitation is, the strengthening of dominant responses due to the presence of others. Crowds tend to cause people to breathe faster, increases arousal, there is more perspiring, hearts beat faster, and muscles are tenser than when alone. Crowds also tend to intensify emotions, both negative and positive.

This is caused by fear of being judged, self-consciousness, and distraction. A theory of Sanders, Baron, and Moore (1978), states that when people focus on those around them, they tend to react differently, become distracted, and it may hamper their performance. I see behavioral changes daily where I work. When the sales reps work as a team, the performance goes up along with attitudes and moods. If there is someone that comes to work in a bad mood or is being rude and disruptive, the morale goes down, the reps work alone, and performance is not at its best. Removing the problem can change attitudes quickly too. Sometimes this can be good and sometimes not so good.


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