Many Hands Make Light the Work: The Causes and Consequences of Social Loafing

@article{Latan1979ManyHM,
  title={Many Hands Make Light the Work: The Causes and Consequences of Social Loafing},
  author={Bibb Latan{\'e} and Kipling D. Williams and Stephen G. Harkins},
  journal={Journal of Personality and Social Psychology},
  year={1979},
  volume={37},
  pages={822-832}
}
Two experiments found that when asked to perform the physically exerting tasks of clapping and shouting, people exhibit a sizable decrease in individual effort when performing in groups as compared to when they perform alone. This decrease, which we call social loafing, is in addition to losses due to faulty coordination of group efforts. Social loafing is discussed in terms of its experimental generality and theoretical importance. The widespread occurrence, the negative consequences for… 

Figures from this paper

Effects of personal involvement: Thought-provoking implications for social loafing.
In 1979, Latane, Williams, and Harkins observed that individuals working together put out less effort than when they work alone, an effect these researchers termed social loafing. Subsequent research
Participation in Team Sports Can Eliminate the Effect of Social Loafing
TLDR
The study suggested that previous experience in collective (team) sports eliminated the effect of social loafing, and the collectivism associated with participation in team sports was reduced.
Don ’ t bring me down : People , puzzles , and social loafing
Identifiability (others knowing an individual’s effort) and social cohesion (personal attachment to a group) are both established influencers of social loafing (decreased effort when in a group).
Social loafing: A meta-analytic review and theoretical integration.
Social loafing is the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually. A meta-analysis of 78 studies demonstrates that social loafing is robust
Social Loafing in Cheerleaders: Effects of Team Membership and Competition
The group performance literature suggests that when individuals work together on a task, they tend to exert less effort than when they perform the same task individually (Jackson & Williams, 1985).
Evaluation and Performance
TLDR
Treatment conditions typically used in social loafing and creativity research were incorporated in a single design and suggested that on tasks that require creativity, conditions that are thought to lead to "loafing" can have the opposite effect.
Social Loafing on an Optimizing Task
Research conducted in the United States and in several non-Western societies has found that people exert greater effort when they work individually than when they do so in a group that obscures
Social loafing as response to an appraisal of appropriate effort.
ABSTRACT The second-chance hypothesis, which attributes social loafing to the actor's awareness that a co-worker provides a second opportunity for productivity on the task (Harcum, in press; Harcum &
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 23 REFERENCES
Effects of Group Size and Proximity Under Cooperative and Competitive Conditions
Research on coaction has concentrated on the arousal-inducing properties of others while practically ignoring the possibility that others may be a source of arousal reduction. The results of the
Coaction effects on a muscular endurance task.
TLDR
Eight-year-olds were found to be superior to the two older age groups, but the age factor was independent of the coaction effect.
The Effects of Group Size on Cognitive Effort and Evaluation
Students rated a poem and an editorial believing that they alone were responsible, that they were one of four persons responsible, or that they were one of sixteen persons responsible for evaluating
The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups.
This book develops an original theory of group and organizational behavior that cuts across disciplinary lines and illustrates the theory with empirical and historical studies of particular
Models for inferring relationships between group size and potential group productivity.
TLDR
An attempt to organize some of the literature on group productivity into a coherent pattern, and to treat the ability of groups as a problem separate from actual productivity.
A theory of social impact
  • St. Louis, Mo.: Psychonomic Society,
  • 1973
The kibbutz; a new way of life
...
...