Why Do People Form Groups?

There are two main theories for why people form groups. According to Science News, the first theory derives from an evolutionary need to belong to a group in order to increase chances of survival. According to the University of Kentucky’s Derek Lane, the second theory is a sociological perspective that insists people form groups in order to achieve goals and seek acceptance from peers.

According to the evolutionary perspective, early humans had a better chance of survival in groups than as individuals. Group formation allows protection from other groups and allows group members to divide tasks. Survival depends on cooperation between group members, as group members share duties and food. These characteristics still exist even in modern humans. For example, humans often seek groups for protection, such as walking in groups at night for safety. On the other hand, the sociological perspective accounts for social needs of people. People also understand that it is easier to achieve a goal if there is a group to support the individual, break up tasks and assist in other ways. People also achieve social acceptance within a peer group, as each group consists of varying rules and structures that require conformity for acceptance.

Both the evolutionary theory and the sociological theory have a large audience of acceptance from multiple academic disciplines. The roles of groups are still under scientific research to understand more about human behavior.