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The practical we carried out is based on that of Stoner (1961) and is concerned with group decision making.

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The practical we carried out is based on that of Stoner (1961) and is concerned with group decision making. Before the work of Stoner the general assumption was that group decisions were more conservative than that of individuals. There are several factors, which influence group decisions. Baron (1994) states that these include relevant information being discussed before a decision is formed and that personal decisions are discussed. This is supported by Forsyth (1990). He goes on to argue it was also assumed that decisions made by groups were better. For instance a jury consists of a group as opposed to an individual as it is assumed their decision will be better. Stoner's research (1961) completely contradicts these assumptions. He found groups tended to take more risky decisions. ...read more.


However, in situation 2 there was a large rise from 35.3 to 39.4. A change in either a cautious or a risky direction is known as group polarisation and the class data demonstrates that group discussion does affect decisions. The class results do not clearly show whether groups are more or less likely to adopt the risky options. In three of the situations groups did decide to go for more risky options, but in the other three situations they opted for more cautious options. It was expected that a risky shift would be shown in the scenarios involving Peter, Henry and George. It was also expected that a cautious shift would be shown in the other cases of Betty and Mark situations. It is also believed the Alan situation is ambivalent. ...read more.


In the case of juries or governments, this means the wrong decisions can be made and wrong action taken. One example of a government group adopting risky action is the American invasion of The Bay of Pigs. Forsyth (1990) states that President Kennedy had too much at stake to make the decision alone and so he formed a group to discuss the issues such as could they be certain of a victory. The risky option was to invade Cuba and the cautious route to use diplomatic means. The decision was made to invade Cuba, which showed the group had not urged restraint, but had encouraged individuals to form more extreme ideas. In this case it was both militarily and politically a complete failure. This shows that groups are not always more informed than individuals. However, this does not mean that group decisions are completely useless. Although group decisions should be treated quite cautiously, they are still affective as they do hold different opinions and ideas. ...read more.

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