Article

Small Groups

Richard Moreland

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online November 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0029
Small Groups

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Much of life is shaped by the small groups to which we belong. These groups include families, work teams, and friendship cliques, to name a few examples. Because they are so important, groups are studied by scientists from several disciplines. Within psychology, most of the work on groups is done by social and organizational psychologists, but developmental and clinical psychologists sometimes study groups as well. Groups are also studied by people from several other disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, and political science. Work is also produced by practitioners who use groups as tools to accomplish their professional goals in business, education, medicine, or sports. A few textbooks on small groups are available. Many edited books, containing chapters by different authors, have been published as well, especially in the past few years. Some of these books cover a variety of phenomena, whereas others focus on a single phenomenon. Finally, although some journals in psychology publish an occasional article or two on groups, special issues that are devoted entirely to small groups are published from time to time by some journals. In addition, there are now a few journals that publish only group research. Examples include Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice (cited under Textbooks) , Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, (cited under Edited Books)and Small Group Research (cited under Basic Issues in Analyzing Groups). Scientific conferences, especially the Nags Head summer conferences (held every year from 1981 to 1999), have played a major role in the growth of small groups as a field. Papers about groups are presented in almost every psychology and sociology conference, but there are a few special conferences that offer presentations only about groups. The best of these may be INGROUP (the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research), which sponsors a conference every year in July, but the European Society of Experimental Social Psychology and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues occasionally sponsor conferences devoted to group phenomena as well.

Article.  19038 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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