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Title:The influence of group discussion on future member performance: Generality over tasks and persistence over time
Author(s):Stasson, Mark Francis
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Davis, James H.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Abstract:Small, ad hoc groups perform a large number of organizational tasks, and discussion and consensus in these groups provides a setting for social influence. The study of this influence process is important because group members often perform similar such tasks later, either individually or in another group. Previous work has almost exclusively examined influence on the same task discussed by the group. This project investigated group influence on tasks similar to those performed by the group and persistence of influence over time in an attempt to gather support for or against the popular notion that participation in a group does affect future member performance. The study of influence across tasks and over time may also help distinguish between hypothesized group influence processes (e.g., informational, normative, commitment, etc.).
Five-person groups worked on an intellective task (arithmetic problem) and a judgmental task (choice between two risky prospects) under one of three assigned consensus requirements (simple majority, unanimity, or no specified rule). Actual group performance was summarized well by a truth wins process on the intellective task and a majority wins process on the judgmental task. Members of correct groups were more likely to be correct on posttest problems than those in a control condition (working individually) on the problem discussed in the group and an analogically similar problem (same structure, but different numerical values), but not on a problem structurally different from the group task. On judgmental tasks, subjects that experienced group opposition were more likely to change decision strategies on the group task and two similar tasks than both those with group support and subjects with no group experience. Assigned consensus rule affected only the intellective task, people in unanimous rule groups were more likely to be correct than those in majority rule groups. The same pattern of results was observed one week after the group performance tasks. This study provided a demonstration of group influence across tasks and over time, and supplied some insight into the processes underlying social influence.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Stasson, Mark Francis
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9011037
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9011037

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