About this Research Topic
Behaviors and psychological processes occurring within a social group (intragroup dynamics), or between social groups (intergroup dynamics) are objects of investigation in several fields of psychology, including clinical psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and organizational psychology. Psychodynamic and psychoanalytic perspectives have widely influenced the study of groups and are notable for their major contribution to theories of group functioning. Among many others, processes related to leadership, ideology, conflict, competition and cooperation, identity, status and roles, group decision, intergroup relationships, and group performance have been object of analysis.
Steaming from early Freud’s contributions in early 1900’ and enriched by the subsequent contributions of other prominent authors (we mention among others Bion, Anzieu, Foulkes, Kaes, Kernberg), the fundamental assumptions of psychodynamic theories of group are that unconscious emotional processes shape interpersonal behaviors in groups and between groups and that the lack of awareness of these processes inhibits effective work in the group, whereas working toward the awareness of groups dynamics is considered a powerful tool for group intervention in clinical, educational and organizational settings.
Starting from this prominent tradition of theoretical reflection, which future directions can be identified for the development of groups psychodynamic research and theory? The aim of the present Research Topic is to be a platform of innovative contributions that look at the future of this branch of knowledge tracking new lines of theory and research. With this aim, our article collection welcomes Original Research, Review, Hypothesis and Theory, Perspective, Brief Research Report, Commentaries, and Opinion articles that have implications for the future development of group dynamics discipline in clinical, organizational and educational, settings.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
1) Integration. Several fields share the interest on group dynamics. The contamination between different branch of psychology, as well as between psychology and other fields (above all neuroscience, economics, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and social science) can be an important source of innovation for the study of group dynamics. Thus, contributions that integrate different branches of knowledge are strongly encouraged.
2) Current political issues. Large group dynamics influence the major political challenges facing our time. Contributions concerning the large group dynamics of opinions and actions, of the climate crisis, social media and fake news, waves of refugees and migration, Nordic social model, attacks on democracy and other topics related to political implications of large group dynamics are strongly encouraged.
3) Methodology. The empirical investigation of group dynamics is challenged for researchers. Contributions concerning the development of innovative methodologies and statistical approaches that are appropriate to capture the unique and emergent properties of groups are strongly encouraged.
4) Practice. The gap between theories and practice is still existent in the psychodynamic investigation of group phenomena. Every contribution concerning innovative practical applications of group dynamics knowledge – group psychotherapy, self-help groups, group intervention in educational, organizational and community settings and many others – is welcome.
Keywords: Groups dynamics, Large groups dynamics, Groups psychology, Groups interventions, Group functioning
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.