Social facilitation is a term coined by American psychologist Floyd Allport in 1924, referring to observations in which people appear to perform better when carrying out a task if others are present, or are engaging in the same task. Experiments attempting to display these effects were first conducted by several 19th century investigators, including the French researcher Charles Féré, and the American psychologist Norman Triplett (1).
The concept of social facilitation has subsequently been studied further and expanded on, and more recent studies have shown that participants’ performance can be affected both positively and negatively when others are present as observers (audience effects) or when others are taking part in the same activity (coaction effects).
- Stroebe, W. (2012). The truth about Triplett (1898), but nobody seems to care. “Perspectives on Psychological Science”, “7”, 54-57.