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The aim of the paper is to analyse the relationship between group characteristics and the scope of reaction of the group to socially undesirable behaviour. Sometimes small groups or communities fail to react to undesirable or violent behaviour and their apathy can have devastating consequences. Such a situation can occur among co-workers witnessing workplace mobbing, or neighbours who do not react to a suspicion of domestic violence. Reasons for their inaction are diverse and can include fear, doubts concerning the necessity of such a reaction, and also conformity. In the paper I examine a seemingly favourable situation: I assume that reaction is costless and all the members of the group would like to react (internalised norm), but they also want to conform. In order to analyse the factors that can influence the scope of group reaction, a structurally embedded sequential coordination game was played for different initial conditions. Computer simulations were conducted for networks of a specific type (Erd¨os-R´enyi random graph). The main aim of the analysis was to identify non-structural and structural features of the group that can impede or even block the intervention of the group. There is a positive relationship between the scope of group reaction and the strength of the internalized norm, whereas the level of conformity affects the chances of group intervention in a negative way. Heterogeneity of the group is an important factor - the scope of reaction is higher when members of the group have different levels of norm internalisation and conformity. There is a non-linear relationship between network density and the scope of reaction. Both low and high density can make it harder for people to act.

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Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric

The Journal of University of Bialystok

Journal Information

Cite Score 2017: 0.28

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.136
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.293


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