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We examined trends in group research published in Social Psychology Quarterly (SPQ) from 1975 to 2005. We identified a total of 332 papers about groups published during the time period. Following Moreland, Hogg, and Hains (1994), we created an index of interest in groups by dividing the number of pages in papers about groups by the total number of journal pages. Results show that interest in groups in SPQ generally fell from the late 1970s through the 1980s, rose during most of the 1990s, but stalled in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2005 interest in groups hovered just under the 31-year average. We examined the impact of European and social cognition approaches, expectation states theory, social exchange theory, and symbolic interactionism on these trends. The most popular topic of research is group structure. The most common research method is the laboratory experiment. Papers about groups have increased in length, number of references, and number of authors. Most papers report a single study. The most productive authors and most influential papers are identified.


This article is from Current Research in Social Psychology 14, no. 6 (2009): 75–103.

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