Social Relations and Morale in Small Groups

By Eric F. Gardner; George G. Thompson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
Theoretical Advantages of Social-Relations Scales Based on "Outside" Reference Populations

Some of the characteristics of the five scales developed in this study are sheerly definitional, whereas others have their definitional properties buttressed by empirical data obtained from the nine fraternities to whose membership the scales have been presented. The definitions have theoretical properties as well as specified operational meanings. A part of the reasoning that preceded the selection of these particular characteristics is presented, although the reader will be spared a review of the many false starts and cul-de-sacs experienced by the present writers.


The Need-Situation

It seems reasonable to suppose that people are drawn into voluntary1 social interaction as a result of their past need-satisfactions experience. The child is drawn to his mother when he is in need of succorance, the adolescent is drawn to a particular one of his peers when he is in need of playmirth, an employee is drawn to his boss or a work companion when he is in need of recognition for his work. It

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1
Membership in social fraternities takes place on a voluntary basis. The social-psychological situation in many civilian and military settings is more complicated and is likely to yield greater contrasts in social-relations status. The newly developed scales are especially designed to measure such differences within and between groups.

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