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Kipling D. Williams on Social Loafing - Dictionary of Arguments

Haslam I 23
Social loafing/social facilitation/Karau/Williams: At first glance, social facilitation and social loafing might appear to be opposite effects because the presence of others typically stimulates effort in the case of facilitation but reduces it in the case of loafing. However, this inconsistency is readily resolved by noting the nature of the others present (Harkins, 1987(1)). Specifically, in social facilitation research, the others who are present are observers, co-actors or audience members, creating the potential for increased arousal (Zajonc, 1965)(2) (>Social facilitation/Zajonc), evaluation (Cottrell, 1972)(3) or distraction (Baron, 1986)(4) relative to what would be experienced alone. On the other hand, in social loafing research, the others who are present are co-workers or teammates, creating an opportunity for individuals to reduce their efforts relative to what they might contribute when solely responsible for performing well at the task (Karau and Williams, 1993(5)).


1. Harkins, S.G. (1987) ‘Social loafing and social facilitation’, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 23: 1–18.
2. Zajonc, R.B. (1965) ‘Social facilitation’, Science, 149: 269–74.
3. Cottrell, N.B. (1972) ‘Social facilitation’, in C.G. McClintock (ed.), Experimental Social Psychology. New York: Henry Holt & Co. pp. 185–236.
4. Baron, R.S. (1986) ‘Distraction-conflict theory: Progress and problems’, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 19: 1–36.
5. Karau, S.J. and Williams, K.D. (1993) ‘Social loafing: A meta-analytic review and theoretical integration’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65: 681–706.


Steven J. Karau and Kipling D. Williams, “Social Facilitation and Social Loafing. Revisiting Triplett’s competition studies”, in: Joanne R. Smith and S. Alexander Haslam (eds.) 2017. Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

WilliamsB I
Bernard Williams
Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy London 2011

WilliamsM I
Michael Williams
Problems of Knowledge: A Critical Introduction to Epistemology Oxford 2001

WilliamsM II
Michael Williams
"Do We (Epistemologists) Need A Theory of Truth?", Philosophical Topics, 14 (1986) pp. 223-42
In
Theories of Truth, Paul Horwich, Aldershot 1994

Haslam I
S. Alexander Haslam
Joanne R. Smith
Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2017


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