Audience Effect

The audience effect is a type of social facilitation in which a individual's performance is influenced by the presence of others (an audience). This was first noticed in the late 1800s with the work of Norman Triplett who found that bicyclists were slower when racing a clock than when racing against other cyclists. In the 1950s Zajonc discovered that the improvement in performance depended on the complexity and familiarity of the task. He found that a person would perform simple tasks better and more accurately in front of an audience than when alone but would do worse when performing a complex task in front of an audience than when alone. This is now known as social inhibition.

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