In sociology, social groups are two or more individuals who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and have a sense of belonging.

Social groups do come in a variety of sizes. Size is, in fact, an important characteristic of social groups in which social behavior occurs.

Dyads and triads are the smallest social groups. German sociologist George Simmel distinguish between dyads– a two-person group, and triads– three-person group.

A dyad is a two-person group such as a married couple or two persons engage to be married. 

Dyad, as George Simmel noted, involved emotionally intense relationships.

However, dyads are relatively short-lived and unstable because the group adds if one person withdraws. This is the case with divorce which effectively ends the relationship of two best friends

Triads, on the other hand, are a three-person group. In triads, as Simmel noted, relationship relatively intense because

However, triads are stable and last longer than dyads. A major for this, like Simmel, is that if two people in the group have had a dispute, the third member can serve as the mediator. 

The downside of the triad is that two-against-one relationship dynamics may occur if two of its members become very close so they disregard the third member.

The dyads vs triads distinction describe the effect of group size on attitude and behavior. 

As the group size increases,  the stability of the group increases but the intensity of its interaction decreases.

The reason being that as group size increases, sub-groups within the group becomes more obvious

Take the case of triads for example. in triads, three relationships may exist: the first being relationship between the first and second members, the second is the relationship between the first and third members, the third is the relationship between the second and third members. 

The effect of this is that various sub-group will exist in triads because relationships between sub-group become personal than the relationship in the main group(triad).

But as group size increases, the stability of the group increases. This is because large groupings can withstand any member departure than small groupings.

Thus, we see that the group becomes stable as its size increases. But, the intensity of their interaction decreases as group size increases.

In our next post, we will be looking at group leadership and styles. Meanwhile, if you have got questions relating to this post, feel free to ask our telegram community

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