Why do people join groups

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

We are the iPhone owners

Have you attended any debate between an iPhone and a Samsung owner?
If you did then most probably you noticed how intense can those kinds of debates get sometimes.

Those people could be close friends or even relatives and still you might find them debating harshly with each other just to prove that their group is the more superior one.

We humans were designed with the tribal mentality. Since the early years of humans people joined tribes in order to survive. The early human knew that they have little chance of survival on their own and this is why they always looked for a tribe to belong to.

This might seem very logical when we consider the lives of our ancestors but the puzzling question is: Why do people still join tribes, or groups, in a time where the goal of survival is much easier to attain?

After all you won't starve to death or get eaten by a predator if you didn't join a group.

Why do people join groups

So why do humans join groups?
Here are some of the reasons that motivate humans to do so:

  • 1) Humans are social beings: Humans are highly social beings with a strong need for belonging. Without connecting to a bigger group a person can feel lost, disconnected and alone. Loneliness is one of the very unpleasant emotions a human can experience and because of that humans always try to make sure they are a part of a social group. See also Dealing with loneliness.
  • 2) To project a certain identity: A person might join a group in order to project a certain social identity. For example a person can join a Golf club just to project the identity of being wealthy or well off. People might join groups to associate themselves with the traits of its members. See Self concept and identity
  • 3) To raise their own worth: A person might want to join a group that is described by others as elite just to gain the benefit of raising their own worth. In such a case the person proudly displays his connection with the group in order to let others see them in a different light. See How to improve your self worth
  • 4) To be a part of something bigger: Humans can also join groups to be a part of a something bigger. In such a case the person might join a group to feel better about themselves for being alone can make the person feel weak and less worthy.
  • 5) To gain a sense of purpose: A person can join a group to gain a sense of purpose in life. Because groups usually have a common purpose the person who belongs to the group gets to feel that their life is meaningful. See also Discovering Your Life's Purpose
  • 6) To gain other social benefits: Some people join groups to gain some social benefits including connecting with other people, improving their connections or boosting their careers.

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Want to know more?

5 ways social support reduces stress and benefits your health

Why Being a Part of a Crowd Can Make You Stupid And Aggressive

Why people look more attractive in groups

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