How Groups Work: A Study of Group Dynamics and its Possible Negative Implications
Evolutionary theory suggests that humans evolved into a species that is best equipped for survival when it functions in groups. Groups allow for critical support mechanisms that increase the chance of survival for all group members. For this reason it is only natural that humans today either unconsciously or consciously form or flock towards groups. Groups, however, do not possess these survival benefits without important costs such as inter and intra group competition, inter and intra group conflict, and social shielding from others outside of the group. Through this paper I will discuss the evolution of groups through how groups form, individuals’ roles within a group, inter-group relations and lastly, how groups can change. In doing so this paper will attempt to understand how some groups can sometimes commit great wrongs, while other groups achieve great goals. I will use my experiences with a specific diversity workshop group, Tri-Co Summer Institute, and explain some of its group dynamics to try and improve the program.