Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Counseling and Human Development


The study of group dynamics has always been fascinated to those interested in a group setting. While much as been done in this area, a still larger amount of knowledge lies un-sorted and mysterious in the realm of group behavior. When, and specifically, when one who transmits enthusiasm and a guiding hand to a group, attempts to understand its workings, dynamics enter the group. A group has been defined as the meeting of a number of people and their subsequent interaction1. Admittedly, social interaction does take place in a group, if the above definition is accepted. This interaction has to do with a variety of complex elements, not the least of which is the need factor. This need factor is present within each individual within a group2. To be sure, each person attempts group interaction to satisfy his own sometimes critical, sometimes passing needs. How well the individual mingles his inner self with the inner selves of the rest of the group will, it seems, determine to what extent social development or maturing takes place. This area of group work is doubly fascinating. One can hardly dissect a group as one would the subject in a biological experiment. Then too it seems, that in a group there are so many intangibles, one can only get at what really goes on and why, by implication. Too many of the respected authors have put in to many hours of diligent labor on the subject of groups for anyone to suggest that there is not an indescribable something at work in the group process. Perhaps, little by little, the mysteries surrounding what the interaction in a group-setting is really all about, may be avoided. At any rate, it will be a burden of this investigation to look at one segment of this interaction. Having made some observations through the use of suitable instruments, it may then be possible to tabulate some results, if not conclusions. One thing which deserves mention is the fact that lack of knowledge and understanding concerning group processes exists. The writer has spoken to counselors who lamented the fact that group work has been so much misunderstood3. It seems that the purposes of continuing research in areas of group work are not done for the sole enhancement of researchers. Perhaps one may be so bold as to suggest that such research may help the doubtful gather new insights. Ancillary to such effects, it perhaps also aids those directly concerned with group dynamics, to formulate their own theories of such dynamics in a manner more acceptable to themselves and society.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Group counseling
Social groups




South Dakota State University