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In schools and at work, working in groups is very common. However there may be times when an authority is present or not while the group works. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect an authority figure’s presence has on the performance of groups. 30 female college students from the University of North Georgia, Gainesville campus between ages of 18 and 45 were recruited. No students under 18 were allowed to participate. Every volunteer was assigned a number to secure confidentiality. Volunteers were randomly assigned to group of 3’s, and each group was randomly assigned to either the experimental group with the professor present or the control group without the professor present. If the participants were assigned to the experimental group, the professor was sitting in the room with the group from the beginning of the study. If the participants were assigned to the control group, the group filled out the questionnaire in the absence of a professor. The instructor handed out the consent forms, gave instructions, handed out questionnaire, and then left the room. The time given to the participants to fill out the questionnaire was five minutes. When the five minutes is up, the instructor collected the questionnaires. To compare the differences between the control group and the experimental group, the number of questions answered was compared. The data shows a trend of students without the authority figure completing more questions on the questionnaire compared to the students with the authority figure present.


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  • Subject
    • Psychological Science

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event location
    • Robinson Ballroom B

  • Event date
    • 1 April 2015

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Kimberly Watkins