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Group Structure

The discipline of social psychology is rooted in the quest to understand two aspects of how people relate to and interact with one another: stability and change. Regularities that engender observable, stable, and repeated uniformity in social interaction are generally attributed to group structure. Even change—or group dynamics—is often considered to have a predictable logic, which researchers link to group structure, defined as the uniform patterns in the relations among group members that are linked to social positions and categories. In this entry, a brief summary of the intellectual history and background of the concept of group structure is given, followed by a discussion of benchmarks in research that have helped scientists understand the nature of group structure and the role group structure plays in ...

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