Social Facilitation: The Cure to Poor Work (by: Jennae Haug)

Often times, people perform daily tasks with little effort as they can become mundane. However, when others are around, daily tasks may be performed to a higher standard. This phenomenon is known as social facilitation, which occurs when a simple task is completed better around people than in isolated settings. This may be done for a number of reasons including the desire to impress one in the setting.

My roommate demonstrated social facilitation while doing the task of washing the dishes. She was splashing water on the dirty dishes, scrubbing the clearly visible residue off, and throwing them in the cupboard, without drying them. However, when her fiance came over, she wanted to show him that she will be a great wife, and she immediately began washing the dishes to a higher standard, cleaning all the residue off, using a substantial amount of soap, and even drying them before putting them neatly away in the cupboard.

Social facilitation was demonstrated in this situation because my roommate was not doing the dishes as well as she could have prior to her fiance being in the apartment. However, as soon as he arrived, she instantaneously began putting a greater effort into washing the dishes. She therefore performed the task to a higher quality while another person was around than when she was on her own.

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