NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Psychology Chapter 7: Social Influence And Group Processes

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Chapter7. Social Influence And Group Processes
CategoryNCERT Solutions for Class 12

Class 12 Psychology Chapter 7 Solutions covers the question and answer of the whole chapter. These solutions will help you to understand the concept of Social Influence And Group Processes chapter. If you are preparing for your exams then you should not miss this guide. These solutions are based on the curriculum of CBSE and will help you to ace your exams with excellent grades.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Psychology Chapter 7

Social Influence And Group Processes Solutions

Questions & Answers

Q1) Compare and contrast formal and informal groups, and in groups and out groups.


  1. Formal Groups:
    • The functions of a formal group are explicitly stated, as in an office organization, or social work club.
    • They have rigidly stated functions and the roles of the members are well-defined or imposed.
    • Formal groups have a chain of command for decision-making, e.g., military or bureaucracy.
  2. Informal Groups:
    • Informal decision-making process may exist as parallel mechanisms.
    • Members of informal groups usually feel more comfortable to take decision in informal settings, e.g., tea time group or lunch group.
    • There are no elicit rules and regulations for informal group.
  3. In-group:
    • It is generally considered as ‘me, my, we, or our’ group.
    • People in in-group are viewed as having desirable behaviour and admirable traits,
    • It is always good, strong, cohesive, kind-hearted, open, relaxing and cool.
  4. Out-group:
    • It is considered as ‘they’ group.
    • Members are often perceived negatively.
    • It is always bad, dirty, damaging, dangerous and has people with negative emotions.

Q2) Are you a member of a certain group? Discuss what motivated are you to join that groups.

Answer) Yes, I am a member of a certain group. These are the factors which motivated me to join that group:

  1. Security: Groups reduce the feeling of insecurity. Being with people gives a sense of comfort and protection.
  2. Status: When the group is perceived as important high profile and well known, then the members also feel recognized and ‘experience a sense of power’, e.g., being a student of high profile school.
  3. Self-esteem: Being a member of a prestigious group enhances the individual’s self-concept.
  4. Satisfaction of one’s Psychological and Social Needs: Groups satisfy one’s social and psychological needs such as sense of belongingness, giving and receiving attention, love and power.
  5. Group Achievement: Groups help in achieving the goals which cannot be attained individually.

Q3) How does Tuck man’s stage model help you to understand the formation of groups?

Answer) Groups usually go through different stages of formation, conflict, stabilisation, performance, and dismissal. Tuckman’s stage model suggested that groups pass through five developmental sequences which are forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning.

  1. Forming Stage: When group-members first meet, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the group, the goal, and how it is to be achieved.
  2. Storming: There is a stage of inter group conflict. There is conflict among members about how the target of the group is to be achieved, who is to control the group and its resources, and who is to perform what task.
  3. Norming: Group-members by this time develop norms related to group behaviour. This leads to development of a positive group identity.
  4. Performing: At this stage, the structure of the group has evolved and is accepted by group-members. The group moves towards achieving the group goal.
  5. Adjourning Stage: In this stage, once the function is over or goal is achieved, the group may be disbanded.

Q4) How do groups influence our behaviour?

Answer) Groups and individuals exert influence on us which may force us to change our behaviours in a particular direction. Group influence our behaviour by the method of ‘social influence’ which means getting influenced by the imagined presence of other people. Throughout the day we may encounter a number of situations where others have tried to influence our and make us think in ways they want.Social influence is a part of our life. In some situations, social influence on us is very strong as a result of which we tend to do things which we otherwise would have not done. On other occasions, we are able to defy influence of others and may even influence them to adopt our own viewpoint.

There are three important group influence processes, i.e. conformity, compliance and obedience.

  1. Conformity: It means behaving according to the group norm, i.e. the expectations of other group members. Persons who do not conform (called ‘deviants’ or ‘non-conformists’) get noticed more than those who do conform.
  2. Compliance: In this, there are external conditions that force the individual to accept the influence of the significant other. Compliance also refers to behaving in a particular way in response to a request made by someone. It could take place even without a norm.
  3. (iii) Obedience: A distinguishing feature of obedience is that such behaviour is a response to a person in authority. The presence of an authority figure immediately makes this behaviour different from conformity. For instance, you may stop talking loudly in the classroom when the teacher asks you to keep quiet, but not when your classmate tells you to do the same thing.

Q5) How can you reduce social loafing in groups? Think of any two incidents of social loafing in school. How did you overcome it?

Answer) Social loading is a negative group influence. Which occurs due to defusion of responsibility. For the quality performance of the group, it should be reduced. It can be reduced through the following methods:

  1. By making the efforts of each person identifiable.
  2. increasing the pressure to work hard (making group-members committed to successful tasks performance).
  3. increasing the apparent importance or value of a task.
  4. making people feel that their individual contribution is important.
  5. strengthening group cohesiveness which increases the motivation for successful group outcome.

Q6) How often do you show conformity in your behaviour? What are the determinants of conformity?

Answer) Conformity in your behavior means behaving according to the group norm, i.e. the expectations of other group members. Conformity in behavior can be shown by the following examples. Some of your friends come to you with a letter of protest against a rule that has been recently announced, i.e. banning use of mobile phones in the school. Personally you believe that the rule is very sensible and should be enforced. But you also know that if you do not sign the letter. Thus, I have to behave according to the group norm.

Determinants of conformity are size of the group, Size of the minority, nature of the task, public or private expression of behaviour and personality.

  1. Size of the group: Conformity is greater when the group is small than when the group is large. It is easier for a deviant member (one who does not conform) to be noticed in a small group. However, in a large group, if there is strong agreement among most of the members, this makes the majority stronger, and therefore, the norm is also stronger. In such a case, the minority member(s) would be more likely to conform because the group pressure would be stronger.
  2. Size of the minority: Suppose the subject finds that after some rounds of judgment of the lines, there is another participant who starts agreeing with the subject’s answer. When the dissenting or deviating minority size increases, the likelihood of conformity decreases. In fact, it may increase the number of dissenters or non-conformists in the group.
  3. Nature of the task: In Asch’s experiment, the task required an answer that could be verified, and could be correct or incorrect. Suppose the task involves giving an opinion about some topic. In such a case, there is no correct or incorrect answer then conformity would be less likely in the second situation.
  4. Public or private expression of behaviour: In the Asch technique, the group members are asked to give their answers publicly, i.e. all members know who has given which response. However, there can be other situations in which the behaviour of members is private. Less conformity is found under private expression than it is seen under public expression.
  5. Personality: The conditions described above show how the features of the situation are important in determining the degree of conformity shown. We also find that some individuals have a conforming personality. Such persons have a tendency to change their behaviour according to what others say or do in most situations.

Q7) Why do people obey even when they know that their behaviour may be harming others? Explain.

Answer) People obey even when they know that their behaviour may be harming others because if we disobey, some punishment might follow. Sometimes, it is because we believe that persons in authority must be obeyed.

Several reasons for this are:

  1. People obey because they feel that they are not responsible for their own actions, they are simply carrying out orders from the authority.
  2. Authority generally possesses symbols of status (e.g., uniform, title) which people find difficult to resist.
  3. Authority gradually increases commands from lesser to greater levels and initial obedience binds the followers for commitment. Once you obey small orders, slowly there is an escalation of commitment for the person who is in authority and one starts obeying bigger orders.
  4. Many times, events are moving at such a fast speed, for example in a riot situation, that one has no time to think, just obey orders from above.

Q8) What are the benefits of cooperation?

Answer) When groups work together to achieve shared goals, we call it cooperation. The rewards in cooperative situations are group rewards and not individual rewards.

Benefits of cooperation:

  1. People work together and hence work load on each individual is less.
  2. Each individual can attain the goal only if other members of the group also attain the goal.
  3. In cooperative groups, there is more coordination and acceptance for each other’s ideas.
  4. Members became more friendly and can excel easily in groups.
  5. Members are more active towards communication, interaction and discussions.

Q9) How is one’s identity formed?

Answer) One’s self-definition of who s/he is which may include both personal attributes, e.g. hard working, happy-go-lucky, or attributes which you share with others, e.g. girl or boy is known as social identity. One’s self identity is formed by oneself as a unique individual, and social identities derived from groups we perceive ourselves to be members of.

Although some aspects of our identity are determined by physical characteristics, one may acquire other aspects as a consequence of our interaction with others in society. Sometimes we perceive ourselves as unique individuals and at other times we perceive ourselves as members of groups. Both are equally valid expressions of self. The extent to which we define ourselves either at personal or at social levels is flexible. From our own experience, we would realise that identification with social groups can have a great deal of importance for your self-concept. feel so because of our social identity as an Indian. Social identity is, thus, that aspect of our self-concept which is based on our group membership. Social identity places us, i.e. tells us what and where we are in the larger social context, and thus helps us to locate ourselves in society.

Q10) What are some of the causes of intergroup conflict? Think of any international conflict. Reflect on the human price of this conflict.

Answer) Conflict is a process in which either an individual or a group perceives that the others have opposite interest, and both try to contradict each other. In such conflicts intense feeling of ‘We’ and ‘They’ dominate. Both the groups believe that only their group (in group) will protect their interest. Individual group conflict occurs when the individuals, needs are different from the group’s needs, goals or norms. Inter group conflict refers to the situation of conflict between groups. It often occurs to maintain the identity of the group different and stronger than the other groups.

Some of the major reasons for group conflicts are:

  1. Lack of communication and faulty communication by both parties. This kind of communication leads to suspicion, i.e. there is a lack of trust. Hence, conflict results.
  2. Another reason for intergroup conflict is relative deprivation. It arises when members of a group compare themselves with members of another group, and perceive that they do not have what they desire to have, which the other group has. In other words, they feel that they are not doing well in comparison to other groups. This may lead to feelings of deprivation and discontentment, which may trigger off conflict.
  3. Another cause of conflict is one party’s belief that it is better than the other, and what it is saying should be done. When this does not happen, both parties start accusing each other. One may often witness a tendency to magnify even smaller differences, thereby conflict gets escalated because every member wants to respect the norms of her/his group.
  4. A feeling that the other group does not respect the norms of my group, and actually violates those norms because of a malevolent intent.
  5. Desire for retaliation for some harm done in the past could be another reason for conflict.

That’s it. These were the solutions of NCERT Class 12 Psychology Chapter 7- Social Influence And Group Processes. Our team hopes that you have found these solutions helpful for you. If you have any doubt related to this chapter then feel free to comment your doubts below. Our team will try their best to help you with your doubts.

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