April 14, 2014
How to reduce?
• Increase identifiability
• Make individual contributions essential
Group Decision Making
Are 2 (or more) heads better than one? Sometimes
• EX. when there are precise, factual answers
But predictable issues arise
Groupthink: when groups make faulty decisions due to desire to reach concensus
We like pleasant interactions
• Areluctant to question others
Most likely when:
• Group isolated from contrary opinions
• Strong, directive leader who states opinions
• Similar and cohesive group
E.g. Challenger launch, WMDs in Iraq, etc.
How to avoid?
1. Leader should withhold viewpoint until the end
2. Consider alternative view points
• “Devil’s advocate”
3. Continue discussing once decision reached
Presented with 12 risky dilemmas
• First, made decisions individually, then as group (consensus answer)
• Results: Individuals made more conservative decisions than groups
• Risky shift – making more risky decisions when working in groups
Other research: Opposite!
• Which is it?
• Tendency for group decisions to be more extreme than those made by individuals
o Could be more risky or less risky
• Particularly among homogenous groups
Why does it happen?
2 causes that work in concert:
1. Persuasive arguments account • In group, exposure to more ideas leads to more extreme group d