Title: The Relevance of Group Processes Research for Military Organizations
Abstract: Research on groups in sociology attempts to understand how basic processes affect the attitudes and behaviors of group members. The U.S. military funded much of the early research on group processes in sociology. This briefing will discuss how recent studies from sociology’s group processes tradition could inform contemporary military personnel policies. I discuss two studies in detail. The first study is a series of experiments that test how features of social context affect the formation of cohesion in groups. The second study is an experiment that examines how people perceive their interactions with partners who are humans or computers. The briefing will discuss some policy implications from these two studies and future directions for this research.