Groups exert sometimes dramatic, sometimes subtle influences on behavior. These influences are sometimes beneficial and sometimes detrimental. An understanding of the effect of groups on the individual sets the stage for a deeper understanding of many facets of social life. One of the reasons for the formation or joining of groups is the definition of the self. On a commonly used questionnaire that requires a person to respond twenty times to the question "Who am I?," people tend to respond with references to some sort of group membership, be it family, occupation, hobby, school, ethnic, religious, or neighborhood. Groups help establish one's identity, both for one's own benefit and for the benefit of others with whom one interacts.
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It seems like you hear it all the time from nearly every one you know I'm SO stressed out!? Pressures abound in this world today. Those pressures cause stress and anxiety, and often we are ill-equipped to deal with those stressors that trigger anxiety and other feelings that can make us sick. Literally, sick.