Topic: How The Presence Of Others Affects Individual Behavior

Social loafing refers to the concept that people are prone to exert less effort on a task if they are in a group versus when they work alone.

Social loafing is the tendency for people to put forth less effort when working on a group task if the individual contributions aren’t evaluated. This group-produced reduction in individual effort could be due to several reasons:

– Individuals may see their contributions as unessential to success, so they may be less concerned about being personally evaluated.
– Individuals may be trying to guard against being the person who does all the work.

Social loafing can be reduced by making the task more challenging (like adding a new component to the presentation), separating the performance of individuals in the group, or making each individual’s performance essential for success.


Key Points

• Social loafing describes the tendency of people to put forth less effort on a task when they are in a group.


Key Terms

social loafing: the tendency for people to put forth less effort when working on a group task if the individual contributions aren’t evaluated.



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