Management Notes

Reference Notes for Management

When a high school student gets teased by her basketball team for receiving an academic award, she is dealing with competing ______________.

When a high school student gets teased by her basketball team for receiving an academic award, she is dealing with competing ______________.


a. primary groups
b. out-groups
c. reference groups
d. secondary groups

The Correct Answer Is:

  • c. reference groups

The correct answer in this scenario is c. reference groups, and it is essential to understand why this term accurately describes the situation. Reference groups play a significant role in shaping an individual’s self-concept and behavior, especially during adolescence when peer influences are strong.

Let’s delve into a detailed explanation of why “reference groups” are the correct choice and why the other options are not applicable in this context:

Correct Answer:

c. Reference Groups:

Reference groups are social groups to which an individual compares themselves, and these comparisons influence their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. In the given scenario, the high school student who receives an academic award is being teased by her basketball team. In this context, the basketball team serves as the reference group against which the student is comparing herself.

The teasing from her teammates may create a sense of conflict or competition between her academic achievements and her identity within the basketball team. This dynamic reflects the influence of a reference group on an individual’s self-esteem and self-concept.

Incorrect Answers:

a. Primary Groups:

Primary groups are small, intimate, and enduring social groups, typically characterized by strong emotional bonds, such as family, close friends, or small social circles. While the basketball team could be considered a primary group, the concept of primary groups is more focused on relationships characterized by emotional closeness and long-term connections.

The interactions and teasing within the basketball team may be more casual and situational rather than deeply emotional and long-lasting, as typically associated with primary groups.

b. Out-Groups:

An out-group is a social group to which an individual does not belong, and this concept is more relevant in the context of intergroup relations and social identity theory.

The basketball team is not an out-group for the student, as she is a member of the team. The term “out-group” is used to describe a group that is perceived as different from one’s own, and it is not applicable in this scenario where the student is part of the basketball team.

d. Secondary Groups:

Secondary groups are larger, more impersonal, and often formed for specific, time-limited purposes, such as a classroom, workplace, or other organizations where the relationships are often task-oriented.

The basketball team could be considered a secondary group in the context of the student’s broader social network, but it does not capture the essence of the situation where the teasing from the team is impacting the student’s self-concept and behavior.

The term “secondary groups” typically emphasizes the instrumental aspects of group membership, which may not be the primary concern in this scenario.

To provide further context and explanation, let’s explore the concept of reference groups and their influence on individuals:

Reference Groups:

Reference groups are social groups that individuals use as standards for evaluating themselves and their own behavior. These groups provide a framework for comparing one’s achievements, values, and attitudes, and they can significantly impact an individual’s self-esteem and self-identity.

Reference groups can be based on shared interests, activities, or characteristics, and they are often crucial during adolescence when peer influence is particularly strong.

In the scenario described, the high school student is dealing with competing reference groups. On one hand, she has received an academic award, which places her in a reference group of high-achieving students who excel academically.

On the other hand, she is a member of her basketball team, which forms a different reference group, emphasizing athletic achievements and group dynamics within the team.

The teasing from her basketball teammates creates a conflict between these two reference groups, as she may feel pressure to conform to the norms and expectations of both groups. This conflict is an example of how reference groups can lead to competing social influences and shape an individual’s behavior.

In summary, the correct answer in this scenario is “reference groups” because they accurately describe the social dynamics at play when a high school student is teased by her basketball team for receiving an academic award.

Reference groups influence an individual’s self-concept and behavior by providing standards for comparison, and in this case, the student is dealing with the influence of both her academic achievement reference group and her basketball team reference group.

The other options, including “primary groups,” “out-groups,” and “secondary groups,” do not accurately capture the nature of the situation and are therefore not the correct answers.

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