Together Everyone Achieves More
Teams are the latest fad in business and are also an important component used in the world of science.
In our class it is important to function well in a team setting.
All labs are performed in lab teams of 3 to 4 students.
Experimental Research on Free-Rider Problems
"More than 50 years ago a German scientist named Ringelmann asked workers to pull as hard as they could on a rope attached to a meter that measured the strength of their efforts. Subjects worked alone and in groups of two, three, and eight.
While the total amount of force on the rope increased as the size rose, the amount of effort by each person seemed to drop. While one person pulling alone exerted an average of 63kg of force, this dropped to about 53 kg in groups of three and was reduced to about 31 kg of force in groups of eight. The greater the number of people performing the task, the less effort each one expended.
The impact of any social force directed toward a group from an outside source is divided among its members. Thus, the more persons in the group, the less the impact such force will have upon each. Because they are working with others, each group member feels that someone else will take up any slack resulting from reduced effort on their part. And since all members tend to respond in this fashion, average output per person drops sharply."
Source: A. Furnham (1993). Wasting Time in the Board Room, Financial Times (March 10).