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Social Facilitation and Relevant Empirical Evidence

This paper discusses the Social Facilitation of human beings specifically and about the development regarding social facilitation, exploring the tendency of people to be aroused in such an environment that would ultimately end up in better performance on simple assigned tasks or the tasks on which they have full command or they are expert when working under others, rather they are working solitarily or working on such tasks for which they are not experienced or expert. Though it is been demonstrated in different forms of species humans are the main focus of this paper.

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Norman Triplett conducted the very first research on social facilitation in 1898. He observed the behavior of bicycle racers very deeply and found that the presence of other bicycle racers happens to increase the performance of every individual racer by motivating them indirectly. There was very little research work conducted on social facilitation in the last few decades due to fluctuations in the results, it was very difficult to say that an individual can perform better while working in social groups rather than working in an isolated environment.

Norman Triplett was the first researcher who reported the very first psychological experiment which was conducted to check the effect of social interaction on behavior. He found that groups of children twisting kite threads completed the chore more speedily than solitary children and stated this effect as social facilitation. Social facilitation happens when the company of others improves the effectiveness of uncomplicated and effortlessly erudite errands. Theoretical analysis suggests that this improvement is due to the boost of stimulation or drive in the investigation subject so that a dominant response becomes even more dominant, In this regard, the chronological advancement of theories of social facilitation is examined across species (Aiello & Douthitt, 2001). Particular stress is on how the study has discovered the influence of social facilitation on learning and memory.


Some researchers have found that when people performing uncomplicated and trouble-free tasks at the job, social group, welfare work, etc, they are apt to do those responsibilities even better than when they are in solitude. On the other hand, people feel much comfortable performing the difficult task successfully when they are alone rather than in presence of others. It is called a psychological effect that a person always does better in a social group i.e. in the environment of completion an individual can perform better. This phenomenon is known as social facilitation (Guerin & Innes, 1984). The present researchers are now conducting research on whether virtual humans can suggest a social facilitation response or not?

Explaining it through an example would be much appropriate.


An experiment was conducted by selecting few participants and these participants were assigned different tasks. Some tasks that were assigned to the participants were easy and others were difficult i.e. scientific, networks, and mathematic tasks. Now the participants were asked to carry out their work and they were provided with different environments i.e. solitude and in presence of virtual humans (Catrambone, 2007).


For uncomplicated tasks, the performance of individuals was found to be better in the presence of virtual humans rather than the ones who worked alone. Similarly, for the hard tasks, the performance of individuals was found to be worse in the presence of virtual humans as compared to the ones who worked in an isolated environment.

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The conclusion which was made on the basis of this experiment was that virtual humans can create social facilitation.


The results suggest that it is very important for the management to take appropriate decisions regarding incorporating virtual humans as it has a very deep impact on the performance of a worker. Research shows that a virtual human can decrease the performance of an individual while handling a difficult task.

Social Facilitation and Work Place

As man is a social animal, hence studies have shown that it’s in human nature that he/she cannot stay lonely for a very long time. On the other hand, not only humans but animals also like to live in groups. Here humans are the central point.

It is a very natural behavior of humans that their behavior varies if somebody is around. Some examples would help to cover up the dissimilarity and aim at the wideness of the statement that the theory has tried to cover. Triplett 1898 observed that a bicycle racer covered more miles in less time in presence of other racers as compared to them who were isolated. Another researcher found that when an individual was asked to dress up with unfamiliar clothes, he took a lot of time to get dressed up, and when he was allowed to wear a familiar dress in the presence of others, he wore it in no time (Strubbe, 2005). The examples quoted in the paper are valid and source of learning, which obviously tells that social facilitation has its empirical evidence and people like Triplett and Strubbe etc have discussed their point that working in a social network, social group, with each other is of the main importance so as to increase the performance in any sort of working conditions. The pace of removal of ill performance from the work is no doubt providing people a challenging environment for work and build up to competition among co-workers, or people around them, this concept of social facilitation is wide in nature and includes every aspect when it comes to the performance of a person.


  1. Aiello, J.R., & Douthitt, E.A. (2001). Social facilitation from Triplett to electronic performance monitoring. Group Dynamics, 5, 163-180
  2. Catrambone, R. (2007). Social facilitation effects of virtual human. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Vol. 49, No. 6, 1054- 1060
  3. Guerin,B.& Innes,J.(1984). Explanations of social facilitation: A review. Current Psychology,3(2),32-52.
  4. Strubbe, M. J. (2005). What did Triplett really find? A contemporary analysis of the first experiment in social psychology. American Journal of Psychology, 118, 271-286.
  5. Triplett, N. (1898). The dynamogenic factors in pacemaking and competition. American Journal of Psychology, 9, 507-533.

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