Social loafing describes the tendency of individuals to put forth less effort when they are part of a group. Because all members of the group are pooling their effort to achieve a common goal, each member of the group contributes less than they would if they were individually responsible.
For example, imagine that your teacher assigned you to work on a class project with a group of ten other students. If you were working on your own, you would have broken down the assignment into steps and started work right away. Since you are part of a group, however, the social loafing tendency makes it likely that you would put less effort into the project. Instead of assuming responsibility for certain tasks, you might simply assume that one of the other group members will take care of it.
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