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Social and cognitive biases in large group decision settings
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis consists of three studies on the effects of group membership in large group decisions. The overall aim was to contribute to understanding how individuals react when decisions are made in large groups. We explored consequences of procedural justice concerns within such groups. In Study I we investigated how different decision procedures and issue importance affect perceptions of others who agree and disagree with the individual on a potentially important issue.  Individuals attributed more positive reasons for attitudes of those who agree as opposed to disagree with themselves, whereas disagreers were attributed more negative reasons. The asymmetry was moderated by decision form, and issue importance. The attitudes concerned attitudes towards potential new policies. In Study II we investigated differences in participants’ perceptions of others depending on own position towards the new policy. Challengers of the status quo advocating a change in the existing policy, were more biased when judging others than were defenders of the status quo. This suggests that challengers are less tolerant of defenders’ point of view. This effect was not affected by perceptions of minority status among the challengers. In Study III we looked at individual group members’ cognitive restructuring of a preferred decision alternative, and how it differs between decision conditions when the decision-maker is affiliated to own ingroup or not. Results showed that individuals restructure the attractiveness of their preferred alternative in group decisions similarly to what has been previously found in individual decision-making. The magnitude of restructuring was greatest when ingroup members decided for the group. However, this effect was moderated by identification with the ingroup, such that those who identified themselves with the ingroup restructured their preferred alternative more when ingroup members decided as opposed to when outgroup authorities decided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , 2011. , 65 p.
Keyword [en]
large group decision-making, social identity, procedural justice, intergroup biases, attitudes, status quo position, cognitive restructuring, post-decision consolidation
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-60314ISBN: 978-91-7447-320-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-60314DiVA: diva2:434374
Public defence
2011-09-29, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted.

Available from: 2011-09-07 Created: 2011-08-15 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Biased attributions regarding the origins of preferences in a group decision situation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biased attributions regarding the origins of preferences in a group decision situation
2010 (English)In: European Journal of Social Psychology, ISSN 0046-2772, E-ISSN 1099-0992, Vol. 40, no 2, 270-281 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The current research investigated biases in attributions of the origins of others’ preferences in a group decision situation. In two experiments, students indicated their preferred alternative in a decision on an important issue in their school, and then explained the bases for preferences of those agreeing and disagreeing with them. Results showed that participants saw preferences of those who agreed as more rationally and less externally based than of those who disagreed. This effect increased with perceived issue importance, when the decision was made by in-group representatives, when the decision outcome was concordant with their own preference (Study 1), and, on the externality dimension, when their representatives were in the majority when deciding on an important issue (Study 2). Findings have important implications for our understanding of the tolerance of others and acceptance of group decisions, and ultimately, how group members behave and interact.

Keyword
attributional bias, group decision-making, issue importance
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-47362 (URN)10.1002/ejsp.618 (DOI)
Available from: 2010-12-01 Created: 2010-12-01 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Defending or Challenging the Status Quo: Position Effects on Biased Intergroup Perceptions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Defending or Challenging the Status Quo: Position Effects on Biased Intergroup Perceptions
2014 (English)In: The Journal of Social and Political Psychology, E-ISSN 2195-3325, Vol. 2, no 1, 77-97 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The default ideological position is status quo maintaining, and challenging the status quo is associated with increased efforts and risks. Nonetheless, some people choose to challenge the status quo. Therefore, to challenge the status quo should imply a strong belief in one’s position as the correct one, and thus efforts may be undertaken to undermine the position of others. Study 1 (N = 311) showed that challengers undermined, by ascribing more externality and less rationality, the position of defenders to a larger extent than defenders did of challengers’ position. Studies 2 (N = 135) and 3 (N= 109) tested if these effects were driven by the implied minority status of the challenging position. Results revealed no effects of experimentally manipulated numerical status, but challengers were again more biased than defenders. Study 3 also revealed that challengers felt more negatively toward their opponents (possibly due to greater social identification with like-minded others), and these negative emotions in turn predicted biased attributions. Results are important as they add to the understanding of how intergroup conflict may arise, providing explanations for why challengers are less tolerant of others’ point of view.

Keyword
intergroup biases, status quo, position effects, numerical status
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108462 (URN)10.5964/jspp.v2i1.158 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-10-27 Created: 2014-10-27 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Post-decision consolidation in large group decision-making
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Post-decision consolidation in large group decision-making
Show others...
2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 52, no 4, 320-328 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Decision-makers tend to change the psychological attractiveness of decision alternatives in favour of their own preferred alternative after the decision is made. In two experiments, the present research examined whether such decision consolidation occurs also among individual group members in a large group decision-making situation. High-school students were presented with a decision scenario on an important issue in their school. The final decision was made by in-group authority, out-group authority or by majority after a ballot voting. Results showed that individual members of large groups changed the attractiveness of their preferred alternative from a pre- to a post decision phase, that these consolidation effects increased when decisions were made by in-group members and when participants identified strongly with their school. Implications of the findings for understanding of group behavior and subgroup relations are discussed.

Keyword
group decisions, decision consolidation, decision-making procedure, group identification
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-60324 (URN)10.1111/j.1467-9450.2011.00878.x (DOI)000292743900002 ()
Available from: 2011-08-15 Created: 2011-08-15 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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