Groups the Experimental Method Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2220 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

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[. . .] Typical remarks in this regard are, "Why is the boss not giving us more attention?" And "What do you want me/us to do?" These expressions are projections of the group members' own anxiety and insecurity, and indicate work and emotional immaturity. In a group, it manifests in the need for structure in remarks like "We need a committee to investigate" or "We need to structure this department more." This defense against anxiety can also be seen as a manipulation of authority out of its role, for example from supervisor to parent figure, according to the fantasy that then "We will be safe/cared for."

The assumption is that the here-and-now of group life is filled with anxiety and in trying to get away from this; the group member unconsciously uses fight or flight as defense mechanisms. Fight reactions manifest in aggression against the self, peers (with envy, jealousy, competition, elimination, boycotting, sibling rivalry, fighting for a position in the group, and privileged relationships with authority figures) or authority itself. Flight reactions manifest physically in, for example, avoidance of others, being ill, or resignation. Psychological flight reactions would include the defense mechanisms such as avoidance of threatening situations or emotions in the here-and-now, rationalization, and intellectualization. In a meeting, for example, this would mean talking about "them" and "out there" issues and avoiding looking at "what this behavior says about me/us."

The assumption is that in order to cope with anxiety, alienation, and loneliness, the individual or group tries to pair with perceived powerful individuals and/or subgroups. The unconscious need is to feel secure and to create -- the unconscious fantasy is that creation will take place in pairs. Pairing also implies splitting up. This happens when anxiety is experienced because of diversity. Then the individual or group tries to split up the whole and build a smaller system, in which he/she can belong and feel secure. It also manifests in ganging up against the perceived aggressor or authority figure. Intra- and intergroup conflict may, for example, result from pairings.

References

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Wells, L. (1980). The group-as-a-whole: A systemic socio-analytical perspective… [END OF PREVIEW]

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