Group behavior is the tendency of human beings to congregate. Humans are social beings, and therefore, they have a tendency to come together and cooperate in the performance of different activities. Group behavior can vary greatly, just like the factors that lead to group pressures. Group behavior is an interesting subject of study in epidemiology, political science, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and many others (Le, 2012). The primary preoccupation in group behavioral studies is usually to understand crowd reactions and how people influence each other in varying situations such as danger, fun, precaution, wrecklesness, and many more. Guillaume, Knippenberg, and Brodbeck (2014) theorize that social classes or groups are an important starting point to determine the effects of societal diversity on individuals’ attitudes and behavior. People with similar backgrounds whether social, economic, or cultural are more comfortable and more likely to perform better both psychologically and behaviorally (Guillaume et al., 2014). Besharov (2014) states organizational identification occurs when members place a high value on organizational membership and define themselves accordingly (Shaw, 1976). Additionally, creativity, helping behaviors, job satisfaction, and social support are other actions, which contribute to defining classes or groups (Besharov, 2014). Gustave Le Bon (2012); Mullen and Goethals(1987) outline that the behaviors, feelings, and thoughts of other people, whether imagined or real, influences those of others, thereby creating the tendency of people with a shared background to congregate and follow similar ideals. Freud and Person (2001): Bartos (1967) explain that group psychology is such an important factor in human behavior that it can lead to the rise of fascist movements. Thw further assert that improved performance, altered behaviors and influenced tendencies in the presence of other people is driven by the fear of bein judged in the presence of other people, and a cautionary approach to actions in group settings owing to the reality of evaluation of such actions by others. Moreno (1964) coins the term “group psychotherapy” to explain the tendency of people to identify with and follow group behavioral tendencies. Moreno outlines that group influence can lead to positive as well as negative effects on performance. He describes social interference, for instance, as the reduction in performance as a result of pressures arising from the presence of others. Lewin and Gold (1999) attempt to identify behavioral patterns among groups as a factor of their evolving circumstances and use the term “group dynamics” to define the body of knowledge in this respect. For instance, they outlines that group polarization is the phenomenon whereby the innate attitudes of individuals are reinforced owing to group engagements that encourage those specific attitudes. They offer one likely explanation for this tendency as the notion of diffused responsibility in group settings, thereby encouraging the perception that personal responsibility is abdicated in such scenarios. Schutz (1967) proposes that affection, control and inclusion are the three dimensions on whose basis interpersonal relations that eventually result in group behaviors develop. He explains that group members who support each other and strive for cohesive ssociation rather than accurate appraisal of their alternatives and actions encourage group thinking. This arises due to the fact that assertion of individual opinions encourages disagreement, thereby increasing the possibility of misunderstandings in group settings. Bion (1983) proclaims that they are a number of mass group processes which lead to the common adoption of specific orientations
Organization identification benefits are fleeting when member sub-groups develop identities and values opposite of those of the main-group (Besharov, 2014). This mutual dis-identification of values can result in conflict and degraded organizational performance (Besharov, 2014). Besharov (2014) identifies the formation of sub-groups follow: 1) inconsistent organizational identities and values, or 2) individual differences of what values are important.
The research question follows: How does the location of an individual’s alcohol consumption affect the development of mutually exclusive household values that influence medical, diet, and housing consumption behavior?
The outcome of this research is to properly identify the target population for government information and educational campaigns based on alcohol consumption patterns and group values. The long-term objective is to improve the health of individuals by deglamorizing alcohol, improving diet, decreasing health costs, and offering alternative housing.
This research uses The Expenditure and Food Survey (EFS) data set. Mazzocchi (2008) describes the EFS dataset as a subset from the 2004 – 05 UK Expenditure and Food Survey. The file includes a random sample of 500 households and 420 variables out of the 1952 in the officially released data set (Mazzocchi, 2008). The UK collects consumer information from each person living in a household above the age of 16. Each participating person maintains a record of expenditures and then integrates the information into a consolidated household survey. This includes the collection of socio-demographic information, data on regular household bills, large items of expenditures and ownership of consumer durables to name a few (Mazzocchi, 2008). The UK targets and distributes the questionnaire to over 12,000 households based on postal codes. Consumer errors reduce the sample to 7,000 households (Mazzocchi, 2008).
The study focuses on three main aspects. First, the study aims at establishing how household income affects alcoholic beverage and tobacco consumption. To achieve the studies objective the dependent variable is alcoholic and tobacco consumption and the independent or explanatory variable is household income since it attempts to predict the former. The descriptive statistic tables for the variables tobacco use, household income, and alcohol consumption are below in Table 1, 2, and 3, respectively.
The use of one-way ANOVA establishes the relationship between household income and the consumption of alcohol beverage and tobacco. In this analysis, the dependent variable is a grouping variable containing alcohol beverage and tobacco consumption whereas the independent variable is household income. Table 4 shows the results of the ANOVA analysis with respect to the effect of household income on alcohol beverage and tobacco consumption. The corrected total for the df was found to be 499 and the Type III Sum of Squares was established as 157707.097.
Instead of using the specific forms of alcohol beverage and tobacco consumption data, the ANOVA analysis used the EPS Total alcohol beverage and tobacco consumption amongst the participants. From the ANOVA tests used to determine the effect of household income on the consumption of alcohol, the p-value of the F-test under the p352 (which represents the Gross Current Household Income) is greater than 0.05 (0.21 > 0.05), which means the effect of household income on the consumption of alcohol is statistically significant. Therefore, from the ANOVA tests, the study concludes that there is very little impact of the gross current household income on the consumption of alcohol beverage and tobacco as well. It means household income shown in the above analysis significantly impacts the alcohol beverage and tobacco consumption.
Secondly, the study determines that the socio-economic level affects the location of alcoholic consumption. This objective identifies whether 1) the individuals drink more at home if they are poor or rich, 2) individuals drink more at the pub than home if they are poor or rich, or 3) they drink more if they are a poor female or male than a rich female or male. The independent variable is a grouping variable of household type, ethnicity, and gender while the dependent variable is the consumption of alcohol or tobacco. Table 5 shows the MANOVA results of the alcohol and the tobacco usage.
With respect to age, table 6 shows all the tests except for Roy’s Largest Root are significant, that is, p-value > 0.05, which shows that on average the age of the household defines or affects the consumption of alcohol beverage.
Since the household income had been defined in the earlier sections, MANOVA table 8 illustrates a MANOVA analysis to determine whether the level of household income predicts the type or whether alcohol is consumed inside or outside the home.
In addition, the degree of alcohol consumption outside the home does not vary with gender, with an equal proportion of males and females who drink indulging in alcohol consumption at the pub.
The results also indicate that the socio-economic level affects the location of alcoholic consumption. Individuals tend to drink more at the pub if they are rich, and more at home if they are poor. Furthermore, there is no variance across gender in drinking patterns at home or at the pub, with both males and females drinking at the pub if they are rich, and drinking at home if they are poor. Therefore, household income is the sole determinant of drinking patterns, be it at home or at the pub.
The results are consistent with Guillaume, Knippenberg, and Brodbeck’s theory that social classes are an important starting point in the determination of the effects of social diversity on the behavior and attitudes of individuals. Evidently, alcohol consumption patterns at home or at the pub varies with respect to whether individuals belong to the rich or poor social class. The rich tend to prefer drinking at the pub, while the poor show a preference for drinking at home. Besharov’s theory that mutual dis-identification occurs when members of sub-groups develop values and identities opposite those of the main group is also evident in the alcohol consumption habits of the rich and the poor. The rich frequent pubs where they prefer to indulge in alcohol consumption, thereby accounting for and identifying with alcohol consumption in outdoor venues, while the poor do the opposite and prefer to drink at home.
The research reveals that government educational campaigns aimed at positively affecting alcohol consumption patterns should target homes as well as pubs. When it comes to homes however, the campaign should place particular focus on those of low socioeconomic status. It is highly likely that alcohol consumption trends in poor homes is largely unknown, due to the general assumption that most alcohol consumption takes place in pubs. Specially designed surveys should also be administered in poor homes to reveal the alcohol drinking habits within them. This will be useful in designing educational campaigns that can reach and positively influence the population of alcohol consumers who do so in the privacy of their homes, especially those from poor backgrounds. In addition, since there appears to be no variance based on gender when it comes to alcohol consumption by poor or rich people, as well as at home or at the pub, similar surveys, as well as educational programs, should be targeted at both male and female alcohol consumers. In the long-term, focused research on alcohol consumption trends within poor homes should however be carried out to specifically determine the extent of this problem within such settings.
Bartos, O. J. (1967). Simple Models of Group Behavior. New York: Columbia University Press.
Besharov, M. L., (2014). The Relational Ecology of Identification: How Organizational Identification Emerges when Individuals Hold Divergent Values. Academy of Management Journal. 57(5), 1485-1512.
Bion, W. R. (1983). Attention and Interpretation. New York: Karnac Books.
Freud, S., & Person, E. S. (2001). On Freud's "Group psychology and the analysis of the ego"/ ed. by Ethel Spector Person for the International Psychoanalytical Association. Hillsdale, NJ [u.a.: The Analytic Press.
Guillaume, Y, R, F., Knippenberg, D, V., & Brodbeck, F, C., (2014). Nothing Succeeds Like Moderation: A Social Self-Regulation Perspective on Cultural Dissimilarity and Performance. Academy of Management Journal. 57(5), 1284-1308.
Le, B. G. (2012). The crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. United States: Start Publishing.
Lewin, K., & Gold, M. (1999). The Complete Social Scientist: A Kurt Lewin Reader. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Mazzocchi, M. (2008). Statistics for Marketing and Consumer Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Moreno, J. L. (1964). The First Psychodramatic Family. Beacon, N.Y.: Beacon House.
Mullen, B., & Goethals, G. R. (1987). Theories of Group Behavior. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Shaw, M. E. (1976). Group Dynamics: The Psychology of Small Group Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Schutz, W. (1967). Joy: Expanding Human Awareness. New York: Grove Press, Inc.
The codebook used in analyzing the data is illustrated below: