The Nature of One’s Idea: In-Group Situation

The Nature of One’s Idea:  In-Group Situation

This project is a processing program used to explore human nature; more specifically the theory of in groups and groupthink displayed through a projection. I am using a program to create generative art inspired by a psychological theory so that this behaviour can be viewed in a more visual and numerical way. It speaks to the concept of in and out groups through the actions and behaviours of the objects (circles) in the program which resemble the characteristics of people’s ideas and it’s ability to spread when in an in-group situation.

The project is generative art reflecting psychological and sociological behaviours of humans. Psychologist have found that ingroup identification can result in negative attitudes toward outgroups. As well, ingroup bias can form while ideas not inline with the core beliefs of the group can be overthrown.

Through my program I will be reflecting the behaviour of how like minded-people group and either hurt, persuade, or help outgroups. The end result of the program demonstrates this social phenomenon. Generating a small society of circles that showcasing the effects of the psychological theory of in groups vs out groups allows the audience to reflect on real-life situations.The behaviour of the circles running in the program display how real world people behave in in-groups. The outcome will show how one leader can group people together to fight a common cause, and how one leader with the wrong intentions can hurt the population.

The reason behind my work is the recent results of the american election. I often hear ‘how did this happen’ and ‘what can we do’. My piece does not answer these questions in particular, but explores the answer and allows the audience to interrupt and generate their own ideas and answers from the influence of the programs outcome. My strategy to get this done is to have a personal timeline for each step of the way. For example, have circles on the screen, how circles with collision detection, add ingroup characteristics etc.

This work relates to generative art as the program runs and generates visuals and behaviours that I can not predict outside of the parameters I have given the object. The program will generate the outcome and become the creator of the end result.  The art piece that originally inspired me to create my work was one shown in class. Casey Reas’ created a program in which circles or arrows follow certain instructions and parameters.


I used the scale as the citizens are collected, the group as a whole will get larger and contrast/emphasize the individuals and smaller groups. Also my work will demonstrate transposition; making real life human behaviour displayed virtually and visually.


Characteristics outlined:

In-groups: A circle is created that groups the ‘people’ together based on something they share in common. They then stay in this group forming ties.

Size of the circle represents: How strong their opinion is

Colour of circle: The opinion they have

In-groups: A circle is created that groups the ‘people’ together based on something they share in common. They then stay in this group forming ties.

Behaviour: If Circle A ‘talks’ (meets) with Circle B, the circle with the stronger opinion will change the opinion of the other.

If they already have the same opinion they can form another separate group together or stay with the original group.

Example: A meets B. There is a 37% chance that a person will be influenced by another impacting them greatly. Considering the strength of their opinion/influence, the colours will change

Program Displays:

-When one ‘meets’ someone similar to them, the one they interact with changes their colour to match the approacher, however if the approacher meets someone with a stronger idea, their colour would change and they would break off, then spreading the new (stronger) opinion

-When people were forced together into groups in which they had little freedom to leave, their options shifty to those whom are around them in order to not be outcasted. Some with strong opinions stayed in the group but most times it only had 2 different colours

-When the two leaders collided, the majority of the group would change their opinion to the one that showed stronger opinion, however those with small opinions/ideas, stayed with the original idea/person because they were closest to the middle of the circle and were not being able to be exposed to new ideas

-Forced grouping ends up isolating other ideas, and therefore no one comes to common grounds freely

-The groups will have a strong variety of opinions at the beginning but eventually the smaller ideas fade out

-The ‘people’ with smaller ideas do not have a chance to hear the other groups opinions


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s