The sampling of critical, unshared information in decision-making groups: The role of an informed minority

Dennis D. Stewart, Garold Stasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

A collective information sampling model and observations of discussion content suggest that decision-making groups often fail to disseminate unshared information. This paper examines the role that a fully-informed minority may play in facilitating the sampling and consideration of unshared information. University students read a mystery and then met in four-person groups to discuss the case. When critical clues were unshared among three members before discussion, a fully informed fourth member (informed minority) promoted the discussion of these critical clues when participants thought the mystery had a demonstrably correct answer (solve set) but not when they thought the clue may have been insufficient to solve definitively the case (judge set). None the less, under both solve and judge sets, the informed minority increased the likelihood that the group would identify the correct suspect. Social combination, information sampling, and minority influence interpretations of the results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-113
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

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