PSYC 320 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Social Comparison Theory, Group Polarization
People typically are attracted to groups that share their attitudes, and those who disagree with the group usually leave by their own choice or are ejected by the others. For example, imagine that a group is discussing whether someone should behave in a risky or a cautious manner. The idea is that individuals are willing to take risks and implement new ideas, whereas groups tend to be cautious and slow moving. Wary of leading the group toward a risky decision, people often become more cautious in their views as they discuss them with the other group members. James stoner tested this question by comparing decisions made by individuals with decisions made by groups, and he found that neither prediction was correct: group decisions tended to be riskier than individuals" decisions. Later studies seemed to contradict the idea of the risky shift, finding that for some choices, groups tended to become more cautious.