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6 The State of Traits: Predispositions and Group Communication

In a provocative article titled “Humans Would Do Better Without Groups,” Buys (1978) argued that because of the many problems that groups cause, people would be better off without groups. In response, L. R. Anderson (1978) penned an essay titled “Groups Would Do Better Without Humans,” in which he asserted that the problem was not groups per se but the people who composed them, in that “humans seldom work at maximum ability levels, seldom communicate with any degree of accuracy or logic and are constantly in need of social-emotional satisfaction for their simpering insecurities about affection, esteem, love, etc.” (p. 557). Although written tongue-in-cheek, Anderson has a point: Groups often are only as good as the members that make them up. The individual member is, thus, an important starting point for understanding the nature of groups. This initial boundary condition is apparent even in the genesis of the term member ...

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