groups and motivation

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Introduction

You may belong to many groups, though you may not think of them as such. You may belong to family groups, work groups, social groups, recreational groups, or educational groups. Within each of these groups are subgroups, and even some of the subgroups have smaller subgroups within them. Consider the groups to which you belong. What was your motivation for joining these groups? Why do you continue to belong? What is your motivation for the roles you take within these groups?

Group belonging is a major focus of research within the field of psychology at large. Each subfield within psychology looks at different aspects of group belonging, but motivation is the central theme of much of the research. This week, you apply motivational theories to the explanation of group behavior and explore how group membership affects motivation.

Readings

  • Book Excerpt: Linville, P. W. (1998). The heterogeneity of homogeneity. In J. Darley, & J. Cooper, (Eds.) , Attribution and social interaction: The legacy of Edward E. Jones (pp. 423–487). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycBOOKS database.
  • Article: Amiot, C. E., & Sansfaçon, S. (2011). Motivations to identify with social groups: a look at their positive and negative consequences. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 15(2), 105–127.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycARTICLES database.
  • Article: Park, E. S., & Hinsz, V. B. (2006). “Strength and safety in numbers”: A theoretical perspective on group influences on approach and avoidance motivation. Motivation & Emotion, 30(2), 135–142.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
  • Article: Taşdemir, N. (2011). The relationships between motivations of intergroup differentiation as a function of different dimensions of social identity. Review of General Psychology, 15(2), 125–137.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycARTICLES database.
  • Article: van Knippenberg, D. (2000). Work motivation and performance: A social identity perspective. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 49(3), 357–371.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.

Discussion 1: Groups and Motivation

Think about your experience in a particular group to which you belong. You may be a leader, remain quiet, cause conflict, or follow others. Think about what motivates you to take the particular role you have and display the behavior that you do. How would you explain your role and behavior using motivational theory?.

To prepare for this Discussion, review the scenario below, paying particular attention to the behaviors displayed. Select one or more specific behaviors from the scenario and consider how they could be explained using motivational theory.

    Scenario:
    You and five other students have been assigned a group project in your educational psychology course. One of the students, Jane, has emailed everyone with suggestions on how to divide the group work. Steven has responded with his own ideas of dividing the work. Megan has responded that she will do whatever the group decides is best. The group finally decides to follow Jane’s suggestions and starts the project. Jeff’s part is late and he often does not respond to emails. Emily decides to write to the professor about how hard she is working and the lack of work by Jeff. Steven does not respond to emails but his work is always posted the day before the due date, and is well done. You end up putting the final project together because the rest of the group says they are too busy to do it.

Post by Day 3 an explanation of how one motivational theory explains one or more behaviors in the scenario. Then explain one limitation of using the theory you selected to explain the behaviors in the scenario.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


Discussion 2: Group Membership and Motivation

Research has found that group membership has the potential to affect individual motivation in both positive and negative ways . For instance, if you worked in a stressful environment but identified with your colleagues and felt a sense of group belonging, that group membership might negate the effects of stress and motivate you to work harder. Conversely, there are group situations that may be demotivating to individuals within the group.

For this Discussion, further consider the potential impact of group membership on individuals. Use the Learning Resources and other current literature to come up with specific ways in which individual motivation may change when an individual becomes a member of a group.

Post by Day 4 an explanation of how group membership affects individual motivation. Describe two specific ways that individual motivation may change when an individual becomes a member of a group, and explain why. Support your response using one or more motivational theories.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

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