Group Myth as a Socio-Psychological Phenomenon

  • Lidiya Chorna Institute for Social and Political Psychology, NAES of Ukraine
Keywords: small group, group identity, group phenomenology, group myth, difficult social situations, group interaction, group dynamics

Abstract

Along with collective and individual myths, there is the group myth, which
stands for extended narratives of a group together with results of the group’s defense
mechanisms’ actions in difficult social situations. A group myth emerges under certain
socio-psychological conditions, such as history of a group is being reflected as a
certain time interval of its development, sufficient to produce narratives about group’s
own values, activity, achievements; demand for maintenance of group unity and
identity of its members; need for providing of group functioning and management;
existence of threats to group integrity with consequent group cohesion and reduction
of social distance between its members; increased share of collective forms of decision
making and behavior. Chances for a myth to arise increase in difficult social situations,
especially crisis and traumatic ones, when a human being is helpless to operate within
his/her usual framework, and information is perceived very uncritically. Historical
group memory mainstreams in such situations, social problems are intended to be

solved via the experience of previous generations, and a person’s ability to influence
the course of events substantially diminishes. The latter results in a person’s readiness
even to believe in unbelievable, if it helps to solve a problem. Following components
could be distinguished when analyzing myth as a mean of group coping in difficult
social situations: cognitive, which outline situational certainty for group members;
emotional, intended to decrease members’ anxiety and uncertainty; instructional and
regulatory ones for discipline, orienting group activity towards transformation and
overcoming of obstacles from social reality. Reflection of difficult social situations
by representatives of separate social and professional groups, implemented into
products of group work, particularly group myth, makes a promising direction of
psychological researches.

Published
2018-12-06
How to Cite
Chorna, L. (2018). Group Myth as a Socio-Psychological Phenomenon. Scientific Studios on Social and Political Psychology, (42(45), 86-94. https://doi.org/10.33120/ssj.vi42(45).194
Section
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