How does social facilitation take place?
It is form of group influence.
Social facilitation refers to a concept that performance on specific task is influenced by the mere presence of others.
Norman Triplett observed that individuals show better performance in presence of others, than when they are performing the same task alone.
Better performance in presence of others is because the person experiences arousal, which makes the person react in a more intense manner.
The arousal is because the person feels he or she is being evaluated. Cottrell called this idea evaluation apprehension. The person will be praised if performance is good (reward); is criticised if performance is bad (punishment). We wish to get praise and avoid criticism, therefore we try to perform well and avoid criticism.
As in case of complex task, the person may be afraid of making mistakes. And the fear of criticism or punishment is stronger.
If the others present are also performing same task, this is called a situation of co-action. When task is simple or a familiar one, performance is better under co-action than when the person is alone.
Task performing can be facilitated and improved or inhibited and worsened by the presence of others. If we are working together in a larger group, the less effort each member puts in. This phenomena is called social loafing, based on diffusion of responsibility. Diffusion of responsibility can also be frequently seen in situations where people are expected to help.