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Effectiveness and process in experiential group learning: comparing a process-directive encounter group (PEG) and a self-directive study group (SSG)
Stockholm University.
1997 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis examines experiential group learning phenomena. The aim of the empirical study was to evaluate the impacts of two experiential group learning conditions (Process-directive Encounter Group, PEG; Self-directive Study Group, SSG) on group processes and outcomes. PEG is a processdirective group training method that focuses both on the exploration of the individuality of group members and group interaction (encounter). SSG is a client-centered group training method that relies primarily on a self-analytical study of the nature of social behavior. The PEG and SSG treatments were expected to cause more rapid group development and higher levels of group effectiveness as compared to non-treatment control groups. A variant of the Solomon four-group experimental design was employed. It included 15 groups (5 PEGs, 5 SSGs, 5 Controls) that were assigned to each condition on a quasi-random basis. The groups met on four to six sessions. All task sessions were observed from videotapes and the results were based on both observational and questionnaire rating data. Five major indices of group outcome (Group Effectiveness, Group Skills, Group Outcome, Work-time, Group Member Behavior) and four diagnostics of group processes (Group Styles, SYMLOG, Group Climate, FIRO) were obtained. The main findings were: (1) The PEG treatment produced beneficial results and was superior to that of SSG and Controls. The PEGs were significantly more effective, skilled, and needed less time working on the task at the final session. (2) The methods of describing group interaction (Group Styles, FIRO, SYMLOG) were in most parts related and the connections among dimensions were as predicted. (3) The PEGs, but not the SSGs and Controls, changed in several of the major diagnostic dimensions. The PEGs were overall higher on the ("positive") dimensions that characterize effective groups and lower on the ("negative") dimensions that characterize ineffective groups. (4) The overall congruence between the inside and outside group-images was higher after treatment and increased more during treatment for the PEGs as compared to the other groups. A general trend was found with PEGs being systematically higher on several group outcome measures as compared to the SSGs and Controls. The main conclusion is that the interaction of self-disclosure, feedback, and encounter activities accounts for effective group learning processes and for shaping the behavior of group members to become an effective unit. It is argued that the PEG process operates according to eleven basic principles. Implications for future research and experiential counseling are discussed. Group change skills and a tentative model for using the PEG approach is also suggested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm University , 1997. , p. 187
Keywords [en]
Experiential group learning, group effectiveness, change skills, group awareness, action ability, process competence
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61937Libris ID: 7611353ISBN: 91-7153-667-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-61937DiVA, id: diva2:438847
Public defence
1997-12-12, 10:00
Opponent
Available from: 2011-09-05 Created: 2011-09-05 Last updated: 2018-11-14Bibliographically approved

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