Chapter 7 Psychology Class 12: Social Influence And Group Processes Study Notes

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Chapter 7 Psychology Class 12

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

A Group is defined as an organized system of two or more individuals, who interact with one another, are interdependent, driven by common motives and goals, and have norms that regulate the group and maintain order and harmony in it. In this blog, we will be providing you with some amazing study notes on Chapter 7 Psychology class 12. So be ready with a pen and a notebook to make some psychology study notes so that you can excel in your next examinations.

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Features Of Groups

Let us first see and learn some features of groups through our blog on study notes on Chapter 7 Psychology class 12. 

  1. A social unit comprises two or more individuals who perceive themselves as belonging to the group.
  2. A gathering of individuals who interact with one another either directly or indirectly.
  3. A collection of individuals who are interdependent which means what one is doing has consequences for others.
  4. A collection of individuals who have common motives and goals.
  5. Individuals who are trying to satisfy a need through their joint association also influence each other.

How Are Groups Different From Teams And Audience?

  • In groups, the performance of the group members depends on their contributions whereas in a team both individual contribution and teamwork matter.
  • In groups, the leader is held accountable for the outcome of the goal whereas, in teams apart from the leader, group members also hold themselves accountable for work.
  • The audience is defined as a collection of people who have gathered together for a common aim let’s say for watching a cricket match but they are different from groups and teams as the audience is passive as compared to teams and groups
  • The audience at times turns into a mob depending upon the situation and in a mob, there is strong homogeneity of aim, action and also mob is pretty polarised and impulsive as well.

Why Do People Join Groups?

After understanding the features of a group and how a group is different from a team and audience, let us now quickly understand why do people join groups in our blog on study notes on Chapter 7 Psychology class 12. 

  1. Security-We feels insecure when we are alone but when we are in groups we feel secure as being part of a group provides a sense of belongingness and comfort.
  2. Status-When we belong to a group that is considered as important by others then we do feel a sense of entitlement and it boosts our status as well.
  3. Self-esteem– Being part of a prestigious group boosts our self-esteem and self-concept.
  4. Provide knowledge and information-Being part of a group can be enriching as we learn a lot from others, enhance our knowledge and broaden our horizons of knowledge.
  5. Satisfaction of one’s psychological and social needs-Being part of a group satisfies our psychological and social needs like giving and receiving attention, social acceptance, etc.
  6. Goal achievement- Groups create synergy and help in accomplishing those goals which cannot be achieved individually

Group Formation

Factors determining group formation are elucidated below: 

  1. Proximity-Common interests, attitudes, and background are important determinants for the liking of your group members
  2. Similarity-Being exposed to someone for a while makes us assess our similarities and paves the way for the formation of groups
  3. Common Motives And Goals-When people are driven by common goals, they get together and form a group to facilitate the accomplishment of the group goals.

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Stages of Group Formation

Let us now quickly memorize the various stages of group formation in our blog on study notes on Chapter 7 Psychology class 12. 

  1. Forming Stage: When group members first meet, a great deal of uncertainty about the group, goal, and the way it will be achieved and is characterized by apprehension as well as enthusiasm.
  2. Storming: Storming is the second stage of group formation in which intragroup conflict happens regarding the accomplishment of goals, group structure, distribution, and utilization of resources.
  3. Norming: Norms related to group behavior are established and that results in harmony instead of chaos. Positive group identity is developed.
  4. Performing: Group structure takes up a proper shape and the main focus of the group in this stage is moving ahead to execute the goal of the group.
  5. Adjourning: It is the last stage of the group formation process in which after the main goal of the group has been achieved, the group is disbanded.

Elements of Group Structure

Various Elements of Group Structure are explained below for your understanding in our blog on study notes on Chapter 7 Psychology class 12. 

  1. Roles are socially defined expectations that individuals in a given situation are expected to fulfill and it also refers to the typical behavior that depicts a person in a given social context.
  2. Norms are expected standards of behavior and beliefs established, agreed upon, and enforced upon by group members and at times they are defined as unspoken rules of the group.
  3. Status refers to the relative social position given to group members by others. This relative position can be either ascribed (given because of seniority) or achieved( given because of hard work).
  4. Cohesiveness refers to the togetherness, binding, or mutual attraction among group members and as the group becomes more united they think always on common ground rather than as individuals.

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Types of Groups

Our blog on study notes on Chapter 7 Psychology class 12 will be incomplete if we don’t discuss types of groups. There are 3 types of groups that have been explained below for you all:

Primary and Secondary Groups

  • Primary groups
    • They are pre-existing formations that are usually given to the individual
    • Example: Family, Caste, Religion, etc.
  • Secondary groups
    • These are those groups which an individual joins by choice.
    • For example, a group of friends, a volunteer group, membership of a political party, etc.

Formal and Informal Groups

  • Formal groups
    • In formal groups, functions are stated explicitly and members have a definite role and also the group structure is properly defined and organized.
    • For example, office organization.
  • Informal groups
    • Functions are stated explicitly and the roles of members are not properly defined and the group structure is unorganized as well.
    • For example, a group of 5 friends

Ingroup and Outgroup

  • Ingroup
    • Ingroup refers to one’s group and we denote it by use of ‘We’
  • Outgroup
    • Outgroup refers to another group and it is often denoted by the term ‘they’.

Influence Of The Group On Individual Behavior

  1. Social facilitation
    • Performance on specific tasks is influenced by the mere presence of others
    • For example, Kartik is about to take part in a debate competition and the presence of other people might boost his performance and give him an adrenaline rush as the presence of others lead to arousal
  1. Social loafing
    1. It is defined as a reduction in individual effort when working on a collective task that is the one in which outputs are pooled with those of other group members
    2. For example, in the game of tug of war as in this game, it is difficult to identify who is applying how much force.
    3. Causes behind social loafing are:
      • People feel their contribution would not be evaluated on an individual basis
      • Group members feel less responsible for the overall task being performed
      • There might be a lack of coordination and team spirit amongst the members.
    4. Ways to reduce social loafing
      • Making efforts of each member visible
      • Making people feel valued and significant for their contribution
      • Development of teamwork and coordination amongst the group.

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Conformity, Compliance, And Obedience

We know that social influence refers to those processes in which our attitudes and behaviors are impacted by the real and imagined presence of other people. Here we will profoundly understand three crucial group influence processes which are conformity, compliance, and obedience. Let us understand each of these in our blog on study notes on Chapter 7 Psychology class 12:


It implies behaving according to the group norm which means expectations of other group members and those who don’t conform are termed as deviants or non-conformists. Determinants of Conformity are: 

  • Size of the group
  • Nature Of Task
  • Personality
  • Public/Private Expression Of Behaviour
  • Size of the minority


A form of social influence in which one or more persons, not holding authority, accepts direct requests from one or more others. Some of the important compliance techniques are:

  • The Foot in the door technique: The person begins by making a small request so that the other person is not likely to refuse. Once the other person carries out the request, a bigger request is made and that is how the person complies
  • The Deadline technique: In this technique, the last date is announced until which a particular product/service will be available and that creates a sense of urgency.
  • The Door in the face technique: In this technique, when the person begins with a large request and when this is refused a later request for something smaller, the one that was desired is made.


It is a response to a person in authority and people who hold high authority positions have effective means for enforcing their orders. Reasons, why people obey, are: 

  • Authority generally possesses symbols of status
  • People obey as they feel they are not responsible for their actions
  • At times events are moving at a quick pace that people don’t have a second to ponder upon and apart from obeying they have no other option.

Cooperation and Competition

Behaviors in most social situations are characterized by either competition or cooperation.

  • Cooperation implies that people are working together to achieve shared goals for mutual benefit.
  • Competition implies that group members try to maximize their benefits and work for the fulfillment of self-interest rather than mutual benefit
  • Groups can cooperative as well as competitive depending on various factors elucidated below-
    • Reward Structure: whether people will cooperate or compete depends on the reward structure which might be cooperative or competitive.
    • Interpersonal Communication: Cooperation among group members depends on whether there is good interpersonal communication between members or not
    • Reciprocity: It means that people feel obliged to return what they get. cooperation begets cooperation and competition begets competition.

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Nature and Causes of Conflict

  • Conflict is a process in which either an individual or a group perceives that others(individual or group) have opposing interests and both the parties involved in the conflict contradict each other.
  • Lack of communication and faulty communication between two parties leads to the development of suspicion among them.
  • The desire for retaliation for some harm done in past
  • Biased perceptions are the root cause of most conflicts.
  • A feeling that the other group does not respect the norms of my group and violates these norms because of malevolent intent.

Strategies to Reduce Conflicts

Our study notes will be incomplete without understanding and learning some strategies to reduce conflicts. In our blog on study notes on Chapter 7 Psychology class 12, we have highlighted some Effective strategies for reducing conflicts below: 

  1. Introduction of superordinate goals: Helps in reducing intergroup conflict as a superordinate goal is mutually beneficial to both the parties involved in the conflict.
  2. Altering Perceptions: Intergroup conflicts can be resolved by bringing about a change in the perception of parties towards one another through persuasion, media appeals, etc.
  3. Increasing Inter-Group Contact: Conflict can also be reduced by increasing intergroup contact between groups by bringing the groups together on community projects and events.
  4. Redrawing Group Boundaries: Redrawing group boundaries helps in reducing intergroup conflict by creating conditions in which the groups at conflict perceive themselves as belonging to a common group.
  5. Negotiations: Intergroup conflict can be resolved through negotiations and third-party interventions as well if required.
  6. Structural Solutions: Conflict can be reduced by redistribution of resources as per principles of justice which are equality, need, and equity.
  7. Respect For Others Group: Acceptance and sensitivity to norms and practices towards norms of other communities and groups ensures reduction in intergroup conflict.

Chapter 7 Psychology Class 12: Important Questions 

List down strategies for reducing conflicts.

Various strategies like negotiations, altering perceptions, increasing inter-group contact, structural solutions, increasing inter-group contact, etc. must be implemented for reducing the conflicts.

Why do people join groups?

People join groups because joining a group gives a boost to a person’s self-esteem, provides knowledge and information, satisfies psychological needs, facilitates goal achievement.

List down the techniques of compliance.

Various compliance techniques are the deadline technique, the door in the face technique, the foot in the door technique.

Elaborate upon the stages of group formation.Elaborate upon the stages of group formation.

Various stages of group formation are forming, storming, norming, performing, and the adjourning stage.

100 Psychology Facts You Must Know!

So that was pretty much all on study notes on Chapter 7 Psychology class 12. We hope that through this blog you can excel in your exams and pass it with flying colors. Want to pursue your higher education abroad after class 12? We at Leverage Edu are burning the midnight oil to ensure no loss of studies of all the diligent and persevering students and for turning your study abroad or overseas education dreams into reality. We at Leverage Edu will assist you at every stage and ensure the accomplishment of your purpose. You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube for more updates.

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