Group study > lone wolf study?

After reading about the differences between small groups, parties, and large groups, I had a question about the example given. The example to show the difference between the groups larger than a dyad and triad was a study group vs. a cocktail party. In my opinion, I love working in groups, is seems to be more interesting, fun, and has less stress, also you can learn more by getting more input from mutliple sources. So I always wondered is it better to work in a group, or alone? I supposed it all depends on your specific preference on whether you like to be around new people or not. If you’re a keep to yourself kind of person, alone would probably work best for you. But I like to work in groups, particularly, groups that I choose on my own, with people that I know, or would like to know. I somewhat feel weird being put in a group with people I don’t know, but I never turn down the opportunity to meet new people.

For my article, I searched if studying in a group is better than studying alone. I ran into an article that did research to see if people studying on their site did better than those who didn’t study together. Now the generalized assumption about working in groups is that no work gets done because everyone is messing around and no one focuses on what they are supposed to. According to Simmel, this would be a party, as the main focus gets lost and the handful of students begin to become multifocial and do their own thing. However, the research proved that this assumption is wrong and that people tend to be more efficient studying together in a group. There were three main results that supported this.

One was that the students that were in a group studied longer than those that studied alone. This is because studying with others makes studying more fun and enjoyable. The second was the students took on more questions when in groups than when alone. This was a great addition as it helps show that the learners aren’t just taking longer to answer questions by messing around and getting off task, but spending more time “studying”. Third was that the learners were able to answer more questions correctly in a group. Now this could be from sharing answers in a group, but regardless, you get the right information and are able to learn from it so when the test comes, the material is already acknowledged.

Thus, studying in groups is better than studying alone. This supports Simmel’s theory or small group, parties, and large groups. The study group puts emphasis on the studying, staying unifocal. Because they intereact with each other, face-to-face, and have one general focus, the studying becomes better as they engage with each other and help one another learn. It also eases the stress off just plain book study, as the interactions between the group help studying be more enjoyable.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sociologysong
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 14:23:14

    Great discussion, Miko! This was a terrific choice of article and discussion. 5.4/5.4


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