Master Syllabus

Group Dynamics


  1. Course Title: Group Dynamics
  2. Course Number: PSY234
  3. Course Name: Psychology
  4. Credit Hours: 3
  5. Semesters Offered: Fall
  6. Prerequisite: COM 121 English Composition, PSY 130 General Psychology (with a grade of "C" or better)


This course presents a broad, integrative overview of group dynamics in a highly interactive format. It is designed to meet the needs of Human Service and other students by introducing them to theory and research findings needed to effectively create and maintain productive groups; and, it helps build skills required to apply that knowledge in real-world situations in the workplace and many other group settings.


The Council on Human Service Education (COHSE) requires students in Associate Degree programs to acquire knowledge and skills in group dynamics (e.g., to provide direct services to groups in the role of advocate and teacher). The addition of this course will meet the required competencies suggested by COHSE.


A. Explain the importance of groups, group structure, and creating and maintaining productive groups in the human service environment, the general workplace and other settings.
B. Discuss why setting effective group goals is fundamental for group productivity, and why social interdependence among group members is essential to goal achievement.
C. Summarize the key elements of effective interpersonal communication in groups, and their influence on group effectiveness.
D. Describe major theories of group leadership, common leadership styles, and the importance of vision, empowerment, and inspiration in group and organizational leadership.
E. Identify effective group decision making methods, and factors that influence productive decision making.
F. Explain the typical dynamics of the process of controversy within groups, and how to bring about creative and constructive outcomes in group problem solving.
G. Discuss the constructive and destructive functions of conflict within groups, and effective strategies of conflict management.
H. Describe basic elements and dynamics of productive teams, and requirements for effective team building.