Social loafing under fatigue

Claudia Y.D. van Orden, Tony Gaillard, Bram Buunk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In 2 experiments, 64 male students worked almost continuously for 20 hr without sleep under varying social conditions. In Experiment 1, participants worked either individually or as a group. As hypothesized, performance deteriorated over time, especially in the group condition, which allowed participants to loaf. In Experiment 2, all participants worked in groups. They were instructed that public feedback would be provided either on the group result only or on the individual results of all group members. As expected, when individual results were made public, performance deteriorated less. Overall, the data suggest that fatigue increases social loafing. However, both individualizing the task and providing public individual feedback seem to counteract these effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1190
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998


  • sociology
  • fatigue
  • group dynamics


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