Group Dynamics: Ch 10

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Chapter 10 Decision Making

Group Dynamics: Ch 10

Multiple Choice Questions

  1. Which statement is true?

    1. Kennedy's advisors experienced so much social loafing that they did not exert sufficient effort.

    2. The individuals on the committee lacked the skills they needed to work in groups.

    3. Kennedy did not exert enough authority during the discussions.

    4. The Bay of Pigs planners made a series of errors in judgment.

    5. The Bay of Pigs invasion would have exceeded if not for the bad weather.

  1. Majorie Shaw found that when comparing individuals to groups on difficult problems that:

    1. individuals solved more problems than groups did.

    2. individuals who performed poorly alone did not do any better when placed in a group.

    3. groups solved more problems than individuals.

    4. groups are superior on judgmental tasks but not intellective tasks.

  1. The group must make a decision about whether or not to support the democratic candidate or the republican candidate. According to Laughlin, this is a(n) ___ task.

    1. heuristic

    2. intellective

    3. judgmental

    4. discretionary

    5. orientation

  1. According a functional model of group decision making, which sequence is correct?

    1. orientation, discussion, implementation, decision

    2. discussion, orientation, decision, implementation

    3. orientation, discussion, decision, implementation

    4. discussion, decision, orientation, implementation

    5. implementation, discussion, decision, orientation

  1. A ___ is a system of cognitive associations that group members use to define and organize the problem and the methods the group will use to solve it.

    1. shared mental model

    2. prime

    3. transactive

    4. heuristic

    5. rumor

  1. Studies of groups making decisions indicate that they spend too little time in the ___ stage of decision-making.

    1. orientation

    2. identity

    3. decision

    4. implementation

    5. judging

  1. A collective information-processing model of group decision making assumes that:

    1. Groups are motivated to make good decisions.

    2. When individuals join groups they are instinctively driven to seek information.

    3. Groups seek out and process information to formulate decisions.

    4. Group member’s thoughts are sometimes inconsistent with their behaviors.

    5. Social loafing is a cognitive deficit.

  1. While collective memory is good, it is NOT better than ___ memory

    1. an average individual’s

    2. the best member’s

    3. a nominal group’s

    4. dyadic

  1. Collective induction occurs during the ___ stage of decision making.

    1. implementation

    2. discussion

    3. decision

    4. orientation

    5. judging

  1. The group is sharing information, planning, evaluating ideas, monitoring its progress on the task, and expressing commitment. It is most likely in the ___ stage.

    1. orientation

    2. discussion

    3. decision

    4. implementation

    5. judging

  1. "Majority rules", "Agree with whatever the boss says". and "All of us must agree before we approve it" are all examples of:

    1. social decision schemes

    2. collective induction

    3. truth-wins rules

    4. truth-supported-wins rules

    5. CESs (critical evaluation standards)

  1. Which statement is true?

    1. Group members are unsatisfied if decisions are made by a subsample of the group.

    2. Discussion to consensus is the best method to use to solve routine problems.

    3. Voting takes longer than discussion to consensus.

    4. An oligarchy is a subgroup of powerholders who make decisions for the group.

  1. ___ generally increases the time the group needs to reach its decision.

    1. Delegating

    2. Averaging inputs

    3. Voting

    4. Majority rules

    5. Consensus

  1. Which statement is true?

    1. Voting is the best procedure to use to increase group cohesion.

    2. Groups prefer to use voting methods when dealing with sensitive, consequential matters.

    3. Members react positively to decisions if they feel fair procedures were used and the decision benefits them in some way.

    4. Group members rebel when others make their decisions for them, even if they are benefited by the decision.

    5. All are true.

  1. Coch and French's study of organizational change did NOT include a ___ group.

    1. no participation

    2. negative participation

    3. total participation

    4. participation-through-representation

  1. Quality circles emphasize:

    1. avoiding failure.

    2. the use of Robert's Rules of Order to make decisions.

    3. employee involvement in making decisions.

    4. inspection systems that increase quality control.

  1. You arrange for the group to make the decision. In Vroom's normative model you would be using a(n) ___ decision-making method.

    1. autocratic

    2. democratic

    3. consultative

    4. group

  1. Procrastination, bolstering, responsibility denial, and satisficing:

    1. are methods for avoiding making a decision.

    2. are types of social decision schemes.

    3. decrease the occurrence of groupthink.

    4. enhance creativity in groups.

    5. increase information assimilation and sharpening.

  1. Which is true?

    1. Groups, during discussion, oversample unique, unshared information.

    2. Groups excel at discovering hidden profiles.

    3. Oversampling of shared information is greatest when groups work on questions with demonstrably correct solutions.

    4. The study of medical decision makers indicates that senior members help groups manage their information.

  1. A hidden profile exists if:

    1. members are not given enough information to solve the problem.

    2. the leader deliberately withholds key information about the problem.

    3. the correct solution, even if suggested, seems incorrect.

    4. the majority opposes the correct solution, but the minority knows the right answer.

    5. groups, to identify the best solution, must pool unshared information effectively.

  1. Databases, search engines, communication tools, shared writing, and shared documents are tools used in ___ to help groups make better decisions.

    1. electronic brainstorming (EBS)

    2. group bulletin boards (GBBS)

    3. social decision schemes (SDS)

    4. computer aided decision making (CADM)

    5. group decision support systems (GDSS)

  1. Which of the following errors was not suggested by Kerr and colleagues?

    1. Errors in how information is used.

    2. Errors caused by overlooking useful information

    3. Errors caused by reliance on simple decision-making methods.

    4. Errors in the way information is gathered.

  1. Which statement is false?

    1. Listeners tend to level, sharpen, and assimilate messages.

    2. The two most frequently mentioned problems reported by people making decisions in groups are poor communication skills and egocentric behavior.

    3. When satisficing occurs groups accept a solution that meets minimal standards, but one that may not be the best solution.

    4. When groups are cognitively busy their problem solving skills improve.

    5. Both groups and individuals display a host of cognitive biases, such as the confirmation bias.

  1. The original name for the tendency for people to become less conservative after group discussion was:

    1. groupthink.

    2. nonconservation.

    3. risky shift.

    4. social facilitation.

    5. diffusion of responsibility.

  1. In all likelihood, risky shifts occur because:

    1. of errors in the design of the original experiments.

    2. the leader persuades other group members.

    3. caution is culturally valued.

    4. group discussion has a polarizing impact on individuals.

  1. Frank, Judy, Ted, and Bill have 4 hours to kill, and they are trying to decide if they should party or study. Frank favors studying for 3 hours and partying for 1 hour, Judy favors 1 hour of studying and 3 hours of partying, Ted is for all 4 hours of partying, and Bill wants to party for 2 hours and study for 2 hours. After discussion Bill will probably

    1. not change his opinion.

    2. favor 3 hours of studying.

    3. favor 3 hours of partying.

    4. favor 4 hours of studying.

  1. Group polarization is the:

    1. enhancement of individual performance when working with others on a project.

    2. tendency for individuals to become less productive as group size increases.

    3. tendency for the group's decisions to be more extreme than individuals' decisions.

    4. arousal created when others are present.

  1. Polarization theory makes predictions opposite that of risky shift theory when:

    1. the average of members' prediscussion judgments is close to the cautious pole.

    2. diffusion of responsibility is controlled.

    3. diffusion of responsibility is not controlled.

    4. the average of members' prediscussion judgments falls at the midpoint of the continuum.

    5. the average of members' prediscussion judgments is close to the risky pole.

  1. A social-comparison explanation of polarization in groups suggest that polarization occurs when:

    1. individuals compare their position to other members' positions, and find that others are more extreme than they are.

    2. groups generate more arguments in favor of one position rather than another and the members shift their opinions in that direction.

    3. groups implicitly adopt decision rules that prompt them to support more extreme decisions.

    4. groups value caution more than risk, but can't make a clear comparison between these two values.

  1. The executors of the trust are making recommendations for how a large amount of money should be invested. Several members favor investing the money in stocks, but others prefer real estate. During the ensuing discussion the group comes up with 6 reasons for investing in stocks, and only 3 reasons for investing in real estate. The group's decision to invest in stocks is most consistent with ___ theory.

    1. value

    2. persuasive-arguments

    3. social comparison

    4. social decision scheme

  1. I become more cautious in the group because, while discussing my decision with other group members, they all suggest many interesting, influential arguments favoring a cautious approach. My shift is consistent with the ___ theory of group polarization.

    1. social loafing

    2. familiarization

    3. persuasive arguments

    4. social comparison

    5. diffusion of responsibility

  1. Groupthink refers to:

    1. an increase in conformity pressures in mobs.

    2. a decision making method used to facilitate creativity.

    3. a pooling-of-information method of group problem solving.

    4. the deterioration of mental and group efficiency.

    5. all of the above.

  1. ___ is a distorted style of thinking that renders group members incapable of making a rational decision.

    1. Ringelmann logic

    2. Social inhibition

    3. Groupthink

    4. Group polarization

    5. Evaluation apprehension

  1. Which one is an example of a groupthink group?

    1. Kennedy's advisory committee planning the Bay of Pigs invasion.

    2. A flightcrew.

    3. A baseball team in the world series.

    4. The group stranded in the Andes.

    5. Contestants in a beauty contest.

  1. Which one is NOT a symptom of groupthink?

    1. The existence of self-appointed mindguards.

    2. The self-censorship of dissenting ideas.

    3. Social pressures encouraging excessive dissent.

    4. Illusions of invulnerability.

    5. Defective decision-making strategies.

  1. Which one is a symptom of groupthink?

    1. Group members feel that they are on the brink of making a bad decision.

    2. Members question the morality of their proposed solution.

    3. Everyone in the group seems to agree with everyone else.

    4. Deviants surface in the group and disrupt discussion.

    5. The opponent, if one exists, is overrated.

  1. Which one doesn't belong with the others?

    1. self-censorship

    2. atmosphere of unanimity

    3. mindguards

    4. desire for success

  1. Because of ___ groups are unlikely to quit a project that they have spent a lot of time, money, and resources on developing.

    1. plurastic ignorance

    2. groupthink

    3. collective effort

    4. entrapment

    5. need for closure

  1. Which one is a cause of groupthink?

    1. Leaders who fail to give sufficient guidance

    2. High cohesion

    3. Uninvolving tasks

    4. Lack of pressure to produce a good solution

    5. All of the above

  1. Which is NOT a cause of groupthink?

    1. cohesiveness

    2. biased leadership

    3. isolation

    4. apathy

    5. stress

  1. Janis argues that groupthink occurs when:

    1. the leader fails to give sufficient guidance.

    2. groups are highly cohesive.

    3. the group is working on uninvolving tasks.

    4. there is little or no pressure to produce a good solution.

  1. Which statement is true?

    1. Leadership has little to do with the development of groupthink.

    2. Groups making important decisions avoid groupthink.

    3. Groupthink does not occur in noncohesive groups.

    4. Isolated groups are protected from the dangers of groupthink.

  1. Which tactic will NOT lessen the chances that groupthink will occur?

    1. Having the leader give his/her own opinions after discussion.

    2. Increasing the cohesiveness of the group.

    3. Breaking the group up into subgroups that meet separately.

    4. Consider the problem and possible solutions in two or more meetings.

    5. Consulting outside experts.

  1. Which group did NOT experience groupthink?

    1. Kennedy’s advisors who planned the country’s strategy during the Cuban Missile Crisis

    2. Nixon's staff who planned the Watergate burglary cover-up

    3. Kennedy's staff that planned the Bay-of-Pigs invasion

    4. Naval advisers and officers responsible for the protection of the U.S. Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor

  1. Which statement is true?

    1. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy's group used effective decision making methods.

    2. Kennedy reduced groupthink during the Missile Crisis by limiting cohesiveness.

    3. Groupthink occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    4. A devil's advocate is the same thing as a mindguard.

  1. Tawanda's group must decide which student will be selected for the award. At the start of the meeting, Tawanda leads the group as members talk about the strategy they will use to make the decision. The group is in the ___ stage.

    1. orientation

    2. discussion

    3. decision

    4. implementation

    5. judging

  1. Collective memory is potentially superior to individual memory because:

    1. groups can store more information than single individuals.

    2. group members can collaborate when creating memories.

    3. groups can use cross-cuing to improve memory retrieval.

    4. groups can take advantage of transactive memory systems.

    5. all of the above.

  1. Delegating decisions, averaging together individuals' inputs, and voting are all examples of

    1. vigilant information processing.

    2. techniques approved under Robert's Rules of Order.

    3. ineffective methods of making decision in groups.

    4. social decision schemes.

  1. You collectively share the problem with the group before you make the final decision. In Vroom's normative model you would be a(n) ___ leader.

    1. autocratic

    2. democratic

    3. consultative

    4. group

  1. Researchers (Stasser and Titus, 1985) studied ___ by giving 4-person groups 16 pieces of information about a decision, but they deliberately varied the distribution of information in some cases to create a hidden profile.

    1. oversampling of shared information

    2. groupthink

    3. group polarization

    4. process planning

    5. satisficing

  1. I shift in the direction of risk because, while discussing my decision with other group members, I note that they are riskier than I am. My shift is consistent with the ___ theory of group polarization.

    1. diffusion of responsibility

    2. familiarization

    3. persuasive arguments

    4. social comparison

    5. leadership

  1. Janis's theory of groupthink was developed through:

    1. rigorous experimentation.

    2. case-study methods.

    3. laboratory studies.

    4. field research.

  1. Which is NOT a symptom of groupthink?

    1. closed mindedness

    2. pressures toward uniformity

    3. defective decision making strategies

    4. social loafing

  1. According to the text, cohesiveness:

    1. has a subduing effect on individual members.

    2. is a necessary evil in groups.

    3. is a symptom, but not a cause, of groupthink.

    4. can set the stage for groupthink.

  1. During the Cuban missile crisis Kennedy reduced groupthink by

    1. hiring a group dynamicist.

    2. following a carefully prepared agenda.

    3. preventing the proliferation of dissenting ideas.

    4. maintaining his authority.

    5. changing the group's decision making methods.


True/False Questions

  1. Intellective tasks are qualitative so answers are difficult to evaluate as right or wrong.

  2. Remembering and exchanging information are integral parts of the discussion phase of decision making according to the functional theory of group decision making.

  3. The similar knowledge, expectations, and conceptualizations of individuals within a group comprise the shared mental model.

  4. Jeni memorizes the area code, Ernest memorizes the phone number prefix, and Paul’s job is to remember the last four digits of the phone number. This process is an example of the transactive memory system.

  5. Statisticized decisions are those that use advanced mathematical techniques in order to evaluate group productivity.

  6. The longest and most arduous portion of the decision making process is the first part, implementation.

  7. Vroom’s normative model of decision making assumes that even though groups are called on to solve many types of problems there is only one method of group decision making.

  8. A nation invading another nation without considering the consequences and then exaggerating the justification and potential favorable consequences for invasion is an example of bolstering.

  9. A committee to reduce underage smoking spends 75% of its time deciding which color lighters are used most often, and then takes steps to ban red lighters. This is an example of trivializing the discussion.

  10. The shared information bias is when group’s members withhold, and do not discuss, information that only they possess.

  11. Group decision support systems are sets of tools that help structure and guide discussions to minimize bias.

  12. A risky shift is said to occur when groups make riskier decisions than individuals.

  13. Social comparison, normative influence, and social decision schemes are all causes of group polarization.

  14. One factor that minimizes groupthink is the presence of a strong minded leader who makes his or her preferences known before the discussion.

  15. Changing decision making techniques, limiting premature seeking of concurrence, and correcting misperceptions and biases are some of the ways to avoid groupthink.

  16. The Bay of Pigs invasion failed because, rather than relying on a group, President Kennedy made the decision without consultation.

  17. Cross-cueing interferes with individual’s ability to recall memories during group discussion.

  18. Autocratic decisions made by a leader either do not use other individuals within the group or use individuals only as informational sources.

  19. Those who suppress dissent and steer groups away from discussing controversial issues are playing the role of mindguard.

  20. Highly cohesive groups are less likely to engage in groupthink.


Essay Questions

  1. Do people tend to make better decisions in groups rather than as lone individuals? Describe a study that could be done to test if groups make better decisions than individuals on intellective and judgmental tasks.

  2. Define and give 2 or 3 examples of intellective tasks and judgmental tasks. Do groups make better decisions than individuals on both of these categories of tasks?

  3. Describe the four basic stages that Kennedy's advisory committee must have passed through as it planned the invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.

  4. Summarize the ODD-I functional model of group decision-making, being sure to describe each step of the model in detail.

  5. Your group must make an important decision about how to spend its money. Three different expenditures, A, B, and C, are being discussed. Explain how the group will make its choice and identify some likely consequences of that decision method.

  6. You want your group to work harder toward its goals. Draw on Coch and French's (1948) research to describe how you will improve the group's work ethic and performance.

  7. Using Vroom's model, identify the type of problems and circumstances that determine when to use autocratic, consultive, and group decision-making methods.

  8. Describe the methods used and the results obtained by Stasser and his colleagues in their studies of information sharing in groups while working on problems with hidden profiles.

  9. When individuals must make decisions, they often fall prey to certain cognitive biases. For example, they overlook useful information and they rely on worthless data. Are groups less likely to fall prey to these errors?

  10. Recount the history of research on making risky decisions in groups, beginning with studies of risky shift and the Choice Dilemmas Questionnaire and ending with studies of group polarization.

  11. What causes polarization in groups (give at least 3 theoretical perspectives)?

  12. Give an example and definition for a symptom of groupthink from each of the 3 categories identified in 1982 by Janis: overestimation of the group, closed-mindedness, and pressures toward uniformity.

  13. On a hot day, Jerry Harvey's family decided to drive to Abilene in an un-airconditioned car. Why?

  14. What four factors does Janis identify as key causes of groupthink?

  15. You must make a decision in a group, but your group is a highly cohesive one. What should you, the group’s leader, do to minimize the possibility of groupthink developing?

  16. Drawing on the empirical literature, identify the strengths and weakness of collective memory processes.

  17. What are advantages and disadvantages of making decisions by voting versus discussion to consensus?

  18. If you group is making a decision based on many pieces of information that are widely distributed among members, what steps should you take to avoid the shared information bias?

  19. You belong to a group that must make a choice about a new venture. Option One is traditional, and will yield a nice profit. Option Two is riskier, and the venture may fail completely. However, the company stands to make a much greater profit in Option Two. Should you leave this decision to the company's board of directors?

  20. Summarize Janis’s 1982 theory of groupthink graphically, and apply the theory to a political decision-making group.

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