Group dynamics are the influential actions, processes, and changes that take place in groups. Individuals often seek personal objectives independently of others, but across a wide range of settings and situations, they join with others in groups. The processes that take place within these groups--such as pressures to conform, the development of norms and roles, differentiation of leaders from followers, collective goal-strivings, and conflict-substantially influence members' emotions, actions, and thoughts. Kurt Lewin, widely recognized as the founding theorist of the field, used the term group dynamics to describe these group processes, as well as the scientific discipline devoted to their description and analysis.
Copyright © 2007 SAGE Publications, Inc. This article first appeared in Encyclopedia of Social Psychology.
Please note that downloads of the article are for private/personal use only.
Purchase online at Sage Publications.
Forsyth, Donelson R. "Group Dynamics." Encyclopedia of Social Psychology. Edited by Roy F. Baumeister and Kathleen D. Vohs. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2007. 391-93.