Group Dynamics Resource Page


GD2019Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their toil.
For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow;
but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him.–
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Welcome to the Group Dynamics Resource Page. For centuries, sages and scholars have been fascinated by groups–by the way they form, change over time, dissipate unexpectedly, achieve great goals, and sometimes commit great wrongs. The tendency to join with others in groups is perhaps the most important single characteristic of humans, and these groups leave an indelible imprint on their members and on society. To understand people, we must understand their groups.

Thoughts related to groups and their dynamics are posted here, organized by topic and by recency of post. By way of background, I wrote the first chapters of the first edition of a book about groups (titled “Introduction to Group Dynamics”) in 1979. Following in the footsteps of such scholars as Marvin Shaw (author of Group Dynamics: The Psychology of Groups, 1978) and Paul Hare (Handbook of Small Group Research, 1976), I sought to write a relatively comprehensive summary of the key principles and findings in group dynamics. As I wrote the 7th edition, over 35 years later, I stressed influence and interpersonal processes in general, and tended to view other processes, such as productivity, communication, and mental health, through this lens. The text reviews hundreds of empirical studies of group processes, but most studies extend a social psychological understanding of groups. This emphasis on theory-grounded knowledge sometimes means that less central but nonetheless interesting topics are slighted, but whenever possible the curious reader is referred to other sources for additional information.

This blog provides some links to various topics related to the study of groups. If you know which topic interests you, then find it in the index to the right of this page. You can also scroll down the page, to browse the topics. Resources for teaching the course on group dynamics, such as online books pertaining to groups and PowerPoint slides, are located on the Teaching Resources page.

Links and Resources

Don Forsyth’s “Studying Our Social World” Research Page