Social loafing is the term that describes how people are likely to put in less effort when taking part in a group task, because they know others will complete it.
This was investigated by Latane (1979) when participants were asked to shout and clap as loud as they could. Participants were either in a group or alone and were asked to wear headphones so they could not hear the amount of noise others produced. Participants responses were recorded and compared.
When in a group, participants made about 1/3 the noise they would make if they were alone.
This study shows us how being in a group can change on our behaviour and make us put less effort into a task, than if we were completing it alone.
Does this have relevance in a work setting? How?