Psychology: Group and Leadership: Formal and Informal Group, Group Development (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Importance of Groups in Our Life

Characteristics of a Group

A group is collection of individuals who work together so as to contribute towards a common aim or goal under the direction of a leader. Members define themselves as group members and share a β€œwe” feel.

Group Dynamics

Group dynamics is affected by factors of individual personality, social situation and cultural traditions.


Cohesiveness refers to the shared perspective which binds the members of a group or community


Conformity is getting affected by how the behavior of other change our own behaviors by changing our beliefs. Conformity can be of two types. Sometimes we conform to others without believing it. This type of outward conformity is called compliance

If our compliance is to an explicit command or acting in accordance with a direction - it is called obedience. The sincere inward conformity is a process when we are genuinely convinced, and it is called acceptance.

Difference between Us and Them

Groups Effect on Performance

Groups Effect on Performance
  • Social facilitation: It has also been found that social arousal facilitates performance.
  • Social Loafing: Social loafing is the tendency of people in a group to exert less effort towards a common goal.

Group Size

  • Group polarization: When a group has to make a decision, the members meet. It is noticed that while the discussion is going on, there is a strong tendency for the group decision to shift to be more extreme and risky.
  • Group think: Group think refers to group-induced distortions that do not allow objective considerations of all the possible alternatives.

Formal and Informal Group

Formal groups are those groups which are formed for a specific purpose. Informal group is naturally form group out of interaction among individuals over time.

Group Development

Groups progress through the following stages: forming, storming, initial integration and performing stage.


Leadership is defined as ability to influence others to achieve certain goals. A good leader can significantly influence the behavior, attitude and performance of the followers.

Qualities of Leader

The main psychological attributes of leader are

  • They are aware of abilities of the followers
  • They have good communication skills.
  • They accept personal responsibility
  • They have ability to understand the situation.
  • They are good planners, visionary and trustworthy.

Theories of Leadership

  • Trait approach- According to trait theory there are certain physical, social and psychological characteristics that one needs to become a leader.
  • Behavioral approach- According to this theory successful leaders exhibit two types of behavior- task centered and employee centered.
  • Situational approach- The effectiveness of a particular style of leadership behavior depends on the situation.
  • Path-goal approach- Path-goal theory focuses on how leaders influence followers՚ expectation. The four styles of leadership are directive style, supportive style, participative style and achievement-oriented style.
  • Charismatic Leadership-Charismatic theory proposes a visionary approach and use of unconventional methods in achieving goals.

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