Accountability and the discussion of unshared, critical information in decision-making groups

Dennis D. Stewart, Robert S. Billings, Garold Stasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Previous research has demonstrated that groups are more likely to discuss information shared by all group members than unshared information (G. M. Wittenbaum & G. Stasser, 1996). In the present study, it was hypothesized that groups may be less likely to overlook unshared information when they are held accountable to an audience outside the group for their decisions. University students read a murder mystery and then met in 3-person groups to select who they thought was most likely to have committed the crime. Contrary to hypotheses, the results showed that accountable groups were less likely to focus on unshared information than groups who were not held accountable because of an increased focus on irrelevant details by accountable groups. Implications for future research are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalGroup Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


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