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Running head SOCIAL FACILTATION OF COMPLEX TASKS Social Facilitation of Complex Tasks A Comparison of Zajoncs Drive Theory and Cottrells Evaluation-Apprehension Theory Abstract Zajonc 1965 describes Drive Theory as the increase in levels of arousal in the presence of others which enhances the frequency of dominant behaviours The aim of this experiment was to challenge Zajoncs theory This study encompassed ten University students and ten teachers and examined the effect of an Attentive Audience condition compared to Mere Presence condition on the performance of a complex word task No significant difference was found between both conditions in the mean number of words obtained This study supports Zajoncs 1965 Drive Theory as the most reliable indicator in determining individuals behaviour in the presence of others A major area of social psychology is the study of an individuals behaviour in the presence of others This is defined as Allports Theory of Social Facilitation Vaughan 2002 The effect of others on an individuals behaviour is addressed by the opposing theories of Zajoncs 1965 Drive Theory that defines Mere Presence and Cottrells 1972 Evaluation Apprehension Model that characterizes Attentive Audience Allports theory was further delineated by the theorist Zajonc in his Drive Theory Plantania and Morgan 2001 p190 explain Drive Theory as the presence of others that produces increments in levels of arousal which in turn enhances the frequency of dominant responses ie responses with the greatest habit strength Zajonc places emphasis on an innate stimulation effect in the presence of a non-specific non-directional other Markus 1978 Mere Presence is the presence of a person in the same area as another person performing a task The Mere Presence individual is either performing the same task but not interacting or coexists with
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